Travel Guide to Dubrovnik

When you hear of the city “Dubrovnik”, HBO’s “Game of Thrones” comes to mind. It’s true, Dubrovnik, Croatia tourism has boomed ever since GOT premiered the gorgeous White City of “King’s Landing”, but Dubrovnik is a beautiful city with friendly people and a storied past that goes beyond the Emmy Award Winning Drama.

I was fortunate enough to visit Dubrovnik this past May for my sister’s wedding and wanted to share all the hot spots for those of you traveling to this wonderful city. I’ll show you the best food, bars, gelato, tours, views, photo opps, and more!!

Preparation

Flight / Airline

When I booked, there were no direct flights to Dubrovnik. I flew economy from Boston, Ma, USA to Dubrovnik, Croatia with a layover in Dublin via AerLingus and It. Was. Fabulous. I was anxious about fitting all my clothes, plus my bridesmaid dress, in a small carry-on but luckily I didn’t need to. AerLingus gives you ONE FREE CHECKED BAG, ONE FREE CARRY-ON AND ONE FREE PERSONAL ITEM. Thats right. Additionally, they had free new movies and were super friendly. My flight only cost $700 roundtrip. 10/10 would recommend. Pro tip: just book at least a few months in advance and in an incognito window.

Currency

Pro tip: request Kuna (the Croatian currency) from your bank at least 48 hours prior to traveling. I was misinformed & told Euros (EU currency) were interchangeably used in Croatia. They are not FYI. Most businesses in Dubrovnik are local, small businesses and do not accept Euro because they lose money in the exchange. So when you get to Old Town & see that a cocktail is 75 kn, don’t have a heart attack–that equates to ~$12 USD. If you get stuck with Euros like me or only bring US dollars, there are plenty of places to exchange currency but you will be at the mercy of the exchange rate & fees that day.

Language

Whenever you are going to foreign country, you should learn a few words or key phrases. Not only will it improve the quality of service you receive, but it will start conversations & improve your overall experience as a tourist. Here are a few key words/phrases I was taught by Croatians:

Thank you : Hvala

Beer: pivo

Please / Response to “Thank You”: Molim

Your City is Beautiful: vaš grad je lijep

Attractions / Tours / Photo Opps

Dubrovnik Tourist Guide

Want a GOT tour, a photo tour, a history tour or a custom tour? BOOK IVAN ! He is the official tour guide for GOT actors, a National Geographic co-host & local Dubrovnik celebrity. He has been featured in People, TIME & El Mundo. See for yourself Here.

He gave my brother, sister, boyfriend, sister’s boyfriend and myself a custom tour. He asked me what I like, I said: GOT, Film, History, Culture, Food & authentic, one-of-a-kind experiences you cannot get anywhere else”. He customized the tour to include all this and more. He spent FOUR HOURS with us. AND we saw him at one of the local spots he recommended days later & we drank coffee & chit-chatted about life. I cannot recommend him enough!

Ana is the founder of Hello Dubrovnik and she is just as adorable as her IG photos. As a Dubrovnik native, she has connects to all the local brands, products & services to customers like me & you. She gave me custom recs for food, shopping, tours & photo opps. She’s the one who recommended Ivan (mentioned above). She even offered to set up reservations FOR ME at spots that were booked for months. She’s a gem! Im not even going to give you all the recs she gave me because you will just have to ask her yourself. Trust me, you wont regret it!!

Dubrovnik City Walls

The one thing everyone will recommend is walking the city walls. Old Town Dubrovnik is enclosed by a fortress of walls you can walk along to view the expansive city & coast. The photo to the left here was taken when it started randomly pouring about 5 minutes into our walk. Though, I gladly got soaked to catch a glimpse of these breathtaking views.

I bought tickets in the square for 200 kn (~$50 USD) so I don’t have a great, reliable rec for money saves here. It seems this is pretty standard in my research although you may be able to save a few bucks on websites I cannot personally vouch for. Most of the photos I took of Dubrovnik were taken on this self-guided tour. You can get a tour guide but I highly recommend booking Ivan (mentioned above) separate within the city walls and just enjoying the city wall views without a tour guide. DISCLAIMER: once you get on the wall, you cannot leave & go back. Your admission ticket is only valid once you enter the gates & is rendered void as soon as you leave.

Galleon Tirena

Take a cruise in this gorgeous sea beast called the Galleon Tirena. I was fortunate enough to ride for free since it was part of my sister’s wedding package but for ~50 Euro, this sail is fully worth it. As a social media content creator, this cruise is certifiably ‘grammable. Check out some scene pics captured by moi (and a professional wedding photographer) .

Either before you board the Galleon or after you return to port, walk around the port & the surrounding walls. It has the most gorgeous views of the city. Best of all, its free to look & take ‘grammable pics. But dont take my word for it, look:

Sponza Palace

Sponza Palace is such a gorgeous building with a ton of history. It has withstood hundreds of years, fires & earthquakes and still maintains its beauty. Definetely worth a quick visit. Pro tip: Go in & look up then go upstairs to look down. Its breathtaking arcs & open ceiling will leave you swooning.

Clara Stones

This jewelry store is unlike any other. There are two storefronts right across the ally from one another; one is commercial & the other is more demo/high end. Coral is a very rare commodity & a Croatian specialty.

I went here twice. TWICE. Once on my tour with Ivan (mentioned above) & once with my mom–who is a professional jeweler. Her & the lead jeweler talked about coral & precious stones for over an hour. He even gave her his personal email to stay in touch. I guess there are not a lot of coral enthusiasts & I can see why: it’s so rare that it’s authentic. I will let them explain the process to you but spoiler alert: its fascinating. Even if you are not a jeweler, like me. Mark my words: I will be back here when I get rich & famous to wear one of their gorgeous coral pieces.

Food / Drink

Konoba Dubrava

Hands down, Konoba Dubrava is the best meal I had in Croatia and perhaps in my life….and if you knew me, you would know I would NEVER say that lightly. Disclaimer: this place is not best fit for vegetarians, nor is most of Dubrovnik since their specialty is Octopus & all things seafood.

We ordered the ribeye, the octopus, grilled chicken, chicken wings, french fries, salad & lots of Croatian red wine. If you don’t go with a hungry army like I did and could only order one thing, I would HIGHLY recommend the octopus. It changed my life. The wait staff was amazing & made excellent recommendations! One drawback: it sits on top of a windy mountain so be sure to buckle up in your Uber 😉

Lady Pi Pi

This oddly named restaurant had one of the best views of Dubrovnik plus delicious, reasonably priced food. It’s named after a fountain of a woman with water coming out of her lady bits. I kid you not. You would think this place would be packed but its steep hike up hundreds of stairs just outside the walls borders deters most. Pro tip: wear sneakers!

I happened upon Lady Pi Pi by accident. I was on a mission to find an authentic, hole-in-the-wall spot with a good view. I climbed up hundreds of stairs toward the walls that enclose the city and when I got to the top / the wall border, there it was. Nestled just outside the wall, with an ivy-covered pergola & the best views of the city outside the wall tour, Lady Pi Pi is a MUST. Be ready to climb but what a way to burn off that free bread basket 😉

D’Vino Wine Bar

This was my favorite place to get a glass of wine. Not only did they give us a flight of wine to taste, but their Australian-Croatian sommelier explained his excursions to find each fine wine in great detail. If you love wine as much as I do, this is a must. Get a wine tasting flight & sit outside. You’re welcome.

Glam Cafe

After you get wine drunk at D’Vino’s, save your table & send someone right across the ally to Glam Cafe for lattes & craft beers. The man who works here loves nerding out about craft beers from all over. He came over to give my boyfriend (a craft beer enthusiast) a sip of a rare craft beer he himself was saving for such an occasion. Croatian people are truly the kindest & most generous people. Bonus points: if you have ever been to or heard of Treehouse Brewery –mention it to him. He is OBSESSED with their beer. Massachusetts is internationally known for its beer 😉 Yes thats their sticker on my fridge.

Dolce Vita

You cant do to Europe & not get Gelato. It’s sacrilegious. I went to two Gelato spots, one touristy one & one authentic one. Which one did I prefer? The authentic one obvs: Dolce Vita. They have amazing flavors but you have to get their namesake flavor: Dolce Vita.

Want the ‘grammable, gimmicky experience? I don’t blame you. Hell, thats why I went to the alternative spot: Peppino’s. I got their GOT themed flavor. It was super delicious, albeit not as authentic gelato as Dolce Vita but totally worth it for the ‘gram. Check it out:

Oliva Pizzeria

Want to keep it simple with some budget-friendly pizza? Oliva is the place to get it then. Quick, easy & nice servers. No frills but very cute & cozy. My family & I went here because it was close to our AirBnB & we wanted a relaxing dinner after the wedding madness!

Phew!! That was a lot, I know. And believe it or not, I left out a TON. There were two whole days of festivities I didn’t include among countless other gems that just didn’t make the cut as the BEST of Dubrovnik. There are quite a few expiditions I was unable to enjoy but were recommended, like cave diving, kayaking, etc. But that will have to wait till next time. Hope this was helpful!

xo, Tina Bell

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IG Guide to LA LA Land

I have been to LA 3 times now so I guess Im a little more than a tourist. When I visit new places, I like to experience the area as much like a native as possible and sprinkle-in touristy gimmicks. In this age of social media, I am a slave to a good “Instagramable” experience. If you want to visit LA but get the most IG content on a budget, then follow my simple IG guide to LA LA Land. 

Red Carpet.

I had my first ever Hollywood  red carpet experience. My roommate in LA went to the American Film Institute (AFI) for writing and extended the invite to my boyfriend and I to attend the star-studded AFI Fest. He toted the past alumni events as rubbing elbows with celebs. Natalie Portman, Nicole Kidman and more were expected to be in attendance. I could not contain my excitement.

Little did we know that the AFI Alumni event was not the same as AFI Fest. Even though the celebrities were long gone from the Red Carpet, there were a few paparazzi stragglers. When my boyfriend started snapping pictures of me on the crimson carpet, I turned on my “model mode” and served face. We conned the paparazzi into thinking I was somebody and they started snapping away. It was such a surreal experience. As we left to validate parking (glamorous, I know), multiple people stopped me to take selfies because they thought I was famous. So my friends, you MUST attend a red carpet event and sneak on to have this experience. Best part: AFI Fest was FREE. Its a once in a lifetime feeling. 

Walk Around.

 I highly recommend packing cute walking shoes for your trip to LA. Sure, you can Uber, Lime or Bird (motorized Scooters) but you will miss some really cool photo ops if you do. My top places to walk around: Melrose Ave, Santa Monica Beach, Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach, Beverly Hills, Hollywood. Be prepared to walk off those calories.

Walking around allows you to go to typical, “grammable” spots like the pink wall on Melrose or the Ferris Wheel shot in Santa Monica Pier but you also get to explore the stores, smells, food and people. I recommend finding your guiding force and following it. For me, its shopping. More specifically, thrift/vintage shopping. I saved all the Goodwill’s, Consignment Stores and Vintage Boutiques in my “LA Google Maps List” and planned my walking trips around those destinations. This way, you have a “plan” or “destination” and can explore around.

For instance, I went shopping in The Beverly Center and they had a whole Holiday installation (the purple picture) then I bought the Holly Golightly-inspired dress at their H&M on sale for $10 (chandelier picture). So I got two “Instagrammable” pictures for the price of one. Not to mention, those are not the only photos I took nor the only places I shopped that day. I got the 80s burgundy sequin dream bodysuit at a vintage store called Helping Hand Vintage for $25 and the serendipitously matching faux leather pants at Counsel Thrift for $8. Both places are within walking distance of me and the photo was taken against the wall of my apartment. 

Eat Food.

Despite the rumored exorbitant cost of avocado toast in LA, there is an abundance of delicious, cheap eats. If you know me, you know I love food. The term “hangry” was inspired by me, Im pretty sure. I have made a list of the best eats in LA I have been to and I have barely scraped the surface. Exploring food places always makes for full hearts and bellies. 

Book a Photoshoot.

LA is home to some of the most talented photographers in the world. Their clientele often includes star-studded celebs. Whatever it may be, I highly recommend reaching out to some to book a photoshoot! @janisyuephotography is AMAZING. Check her out!!!

Appreciate Art.

I was fortunate enough to be visiting LA during a holiday. Why is this good? There is nothing like a white Christmas but enjoying some holiday fun without the threat of frostbite is worth the trade-up. Also, there are tons of free or cheap attractions and installations to lure tourists and grammers. 

There are tons of quintessential attractions for you to visit in LA: The Hollywood Sign, Collette Miller Wings, The Magic Castle, and the list goes on. I have done these and you should too but if you’re looking for something new, unique and maybe life-changing; I recommend expanding your horizons a bit. Namely, The Getty Museum. Its free and open to the public. Not to mention had the best views of LA Ive ever seen. I also recommend LA Zoo Lights. Every year the LA Zoo turns into an adult playground (kids welcome too). It had beautiful holiday light installations. I was on sensory overload. Another great (cheap) event is the Melrose Trading Post: a flea market on Melrose Ave every Sunday. Check it out!

The Getty Museum sunset and views was probably the most affordable and jaw-dropping experience of the trip. The LA Zoo Lights was amazing but it cost a pricey roundtrip Uber, had long lines, was crowded & cost $13 a piece. Its well-worth it but if youre looking for the best bang for your buck, its the Getty Museum hands-down. Take a gander!

Los Angeles is a magical place full of great food, warm people, hidden gems, art installations and some of the best photo-ops. I highly recommend putting the camera down to just enjoy all of these moments you capture IRL but I hope this guide has helped you find some grammable moments in your next LA adventure. 

xo Tina Bell

My Valentines Day/Birthday Photoshoot

Hello Bellas,

Welp, its a fact: Im getting old. At least, one year older that is 😉 As an annual tradition, I did a birthday/valentine’s day fusion photoshoot with my bestie Joe Murphy. He texted me and said “lets do a birthday photoshoot for you–your vision/concept and I’ll do makeup and shoot”. As most photoshoot stories go, there were some hiccups along the way…

We planned to do this photoshoot at a local laundromat that has teal washing machines. I called the laundromat multiple times to get permission to shoot to no avail. Finally, the day of the shoot, a nice woman picked up and told me they are closed for renovations for 2 weeks and that the teal machines were being replaced. REPLACED?! Damn. This was originally what we wanted to do:

So, we adapted the script for the day to be not on-location. I used some Pinterest inspiration of course, but we made them our own.

It all worked out in the end and we made some fabulous images. Here are some #bts images:

And the final product images:

We had so much fun!! I have always been called the “love-baby” because my birthday is so close to Valentine’s Day so this fusion photoshoot was what dreams are made of 🙂 I hope you all enjoyed this photoshoot as much as I did. Stay tuned for my post about NYFW!!

xo

Tina Bell

Last Photoshoot of 2016

Hello Bellas!

Days before the close of 2016, I got the chance to work with 2 of the 3 photographers from the Toys for Tots Charity Photoshoot: Rob Hare and Mo Mendes. At 3:00pm I saw a status on Mo’s page asking for a model available to shoot at his studio at 4:00pm. I was getting over a cold, in my PJs, and just finished watching an episode of The Crown. I asked where the shoot would be half-expecting it to be over an hour like most gigs, but it was a mere 40 mins away. I accepted and ran into the shower, got out and got makeup ready as quickly as I could. I did not get there until 5:00pm (they knew I would be late) but luckily Mo was stuck in traffic and arrived right before me.

The studio space was HUGE and Rob already had a pink backdrop set up for one of our shoots. Rob and I had been in talks about shooting for a week and exchanged Pinterest boards (that means its going down). You don’t just show anyone your Pinterest board 😉 We both liked this one idea and tried it:

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Pinterest

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Tina Bell (me)

Rob made a status using this photo saying:

My New Years Resolution…..Get back to doing photography projects that are just for me. I love that I’m able to make money doing what I’m passionate about but I still like to have time to do personal work. So here’s to kicking it off in style.

This is neither a new nor original idea but it is a technically challenging shot for a number of lighting reasons. I was thrilled to put this project together with a model I’ve wanted to work with from the minute I met her. Tina Bell is a phenomenal model and she was kind enough to join me to put this project together.

Thank you Mo Mendes for the assist on this shot. Very proud to add this image to my personal portfolio.

There was another model was there–Brittany Bearden- Miss Maine U.S. International–and we were alternating time with photographers. I worked with Mo next and then with Rob again before the end. I will leave the Mo surprise to the end (Hint: It’s a Secret) and show you another gem that Rob and I created:

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Tina Bell

There was no Pinterest inspo for that one. I had the dress and Rob had the camera. The lighting is really the unsung hero of this shot. There was a hard light source to my right and I had to angle my body and face toward with while also creating curves and pretty lines. Its more challenging than it looks, but DAMN does it look good 🙂

As promised, Ill let you in on my secret with Mo…Victoria’s Secret, that is! Mo had these amazing black wings that were easily spanned 6 feet across. They were made for another shoot with a girl that was 6 ft tall by the lovely Lory Sun. She creates some really cool and dark couture pieces and this was no exception. I was strapped into the wings like a backpack…the heaviest backpack I’ve ever worn! I couldn’t move to fast or I would topple over or hit a light (which I accidentally did do a few times). But the shots were worth it. Its more of a dark VS angel shoot.

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Tina Bell

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Tina Bell

I am so honored to be inspired and inspire great artists in my line of work. This is a reminder of why I do this at all. They don’t call us artists tortured for no reason; some days you wake up and think “its not enough” or “I should just quit” or “what if I fail” or “why am I even doing this”. Creatives can totally relate to this “Negative Thought Record” (as we call it in the clinical world). However, its shoots and statuses like this put it all in perspective. Suddenly, hopping in the shower, getting ready and driving 40 minutes out of your way on a moments notice does not seem so crazy. We all can get down and forget why we are working our buns off (especially when the bills stack up and your not getting paid), but shake off those demons and doubts and GRIND! Happy New Year!!

xo Tina Bell

Toys For Tots Charity Photoshoot, Boston Fashion Awards and Facebook Live in Review

Hello Bellas!!

It has been a hot second–sorry! If you don’t already know, I have made the decision to go FULL-TIME with my acting and modeling career in honor of my 1-year acting anniversary on Nov. 18th. I went full-time because I was sick of opportunities passing me by because they were on a Tuesday or I needed a whole week off on 2-days notice. My acting career was the main reason I went full-time since filming eats up the most time. Ironically, its my modeling that has taken off since. I recently had a whole day of modeling, photoshoots and catwalks.

A few weeks ago, I heard about a Toys for Tots charity photoshoot so I jumped on the opportunity. Not only do I know exactly how it feels to not have gifts under the tree some years, but I also love to use my talents for good! There were 3 top New England photographers, a team of makeup artists and hair stylists and gowns rented for the day from Mark Russo. We were asked to provide our measurements for the dresses and given call-times to keep the traffic to a minimum. There were Miss Americas, Miss Teens, Marines and tons of talented folks! After getting my hair and makeup did, I went to the stylist to see which gorgeous long and flowy gown was selected for me. To my initial dismay, my gown was no gown at all. It was a short plain red dress. I secretly hoped it would not fit so I could get an alternate, but it fit…surprisingly well actually! So I decided, I just needed to stand next to these beauty queens in stunning floor-length gowns and just OWN IT. After all, its not about me…its about the kids!!

That’s what I did. I went upstairs and had only 3 minutes to make an impression with each photographer and did my DAMN THANG! Each photographer was impressed with my posing ability (one of my strong suits). No dress was going to hold me back from leaving my mark. And that’s the thing about the modeling industry; its comprised of 80% confidence, 10% grit and 10% talent. I’m a petite model so I am often written off as a non-threat. I wasn’t surprised that I got the short dress vs. a gown. I get it. I’m short. The hem being too long is most certainly a concern. Soooo whats the best way to eliminate that threat? A short dress. But I made that short dress work for me. Check out how much fun I had working with Eric Snyder, Mo Mendes and Rob Hare (photography giants) along with Liz Kidder on hair and Jena Tang of Pristige Communications organizing the whole thing:

Two days before, I did a music video shoot for a local Boston artist: Kyle Davis. Remember the name. He is extremely talented and underrated. He was scheduled to perform Sunday at the Boston Fashion Awards. I was not planning on going because I hate being forced to network with VIPs at a club where you cannot hear a damn thing. However, Kyle’s manager gave me comp tickets so my previous excuse of not being able to afford it no longer applied. I then tried to make the excuse that I had the charity photoshoot earlier that day and I would be too exhausted to go. However, the venu was closer to the photoshoot than my house so I really had no excuse. INTROVERTS, YA FEEL ME THOUGH?!?! I got over myself and my excuses then I picked out a killer outfit and went stag.

It took like 45 minutes to find parking and it was 3 blocks away (not bad to be honest) in the freezing cold. I bent over to put my bags in the trunk so I dont come back to my car window smashed and my things stolen and I felt a SNAP. I grab the back of my skirt that was formally held together by a clasp that had just broke. Classic. I debated getting back in the car and leaving but I braved it. When I got to the venu, I went to coat check and asked if they had a pin but they only had a paper clip…which I graciously accepted with no other alternatives. I went to the bathroom to finagle some semblance of a clasp when I saw my designer friend Nathalia JMag. She said: “than GOD you are here. Can you model? We are short models, there were no-shows”. I looked down at my paper clip clasp and empty arm (no date) and without hesitation accepted the opportunity to not wear my broken clothes.

I felt instant regret because I realized what I had signed up for: runway. I am NOT a runway model. I am 5’4″ on a good day. I know my strengths. Walking in a straight line in someone else’s sky-high heels in someone else’s clothes is not one of mine. Don’t get me wrong, Ive done it; I’m just not cut out for it. For the second time in one day, I was faced with needing to hold my own. I am beyond thrilled I did!! It was so much fun. The girls were so nice. I was one of 3 (questionable) white girls which was AWESOME! I was so happy to see women of all colors tearing it up on the runway. So often, in Boston especially, everything is white-washed. I was proud of my city for diversifying the catwalk. I got corralled into another designer’s line as well, but I was just so happy I didn’t have to wear my broken skirt!! Check out the fruits of my labor:

 

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While I had a ton of fun at the Boston Fashion Awards, I must say there were multiple technical difficulties. There was one point when I was waiting to walk the runway and loud white noise came over the intercom and did not stop for a solid 30 seconds. On top of that, they did not actually announce when any of the awards would be called and therefore, in many cases, the winners did not hear their names get called. Many designers and models who were nominated were busy backstage doing their job (that they were nominated for). The model who won best print model heard her name but was promptly rushed off-stage and was quite upset about it. Was she going to give an Oscar speech? No. But she said she was treated rudely. My question is: why call it the Boston Fashion Awards if the event is not completely centered around the awards and their winners? Why not call it the Boston Fashion Show (with some awards interspersed)? I understand these things are always hard to plan and there are always hitches, but shame on you Boston for your treatment of the people who were the WHOLE reason for the event!! Besides that, I had fun and it was a good place to meet good people and I thank the organizers for facilitating that.

At the event, I went Facebook live for the first time ever. I feel like I need to use this feature more often. I am a huge fan! I do think people abuse FB live and go on constantly to talk about what they ate that day, but if used sparingly for things people would not get to see normally and do not want to miss (ie the Boston Fashion Awards) then its a very useful tool. And so easy to use! One tip to FB: make it so you can share the link to these videos!! Check it out on my page: https://www.facebook.com/TinaBellCreations/

I had such a blast this day and I am so glad I forced myself to be a social being for a day. I met so many wonderful people and really stepped outside my comfort zone. Stay tuned for a ton more projects!!

xo Tina Bell

Post-Holiday Gym Feels

Its Monday. Everyone is in a post-thanksgiving turkey-induced coma as they sit behind their desks, typing away with zombie-fingers. But what happens after work? How will you get rid of those turkey thighs, those mashed potato muscles or those gravy glutes?

The Gym (cue dramatic music: Bah, Bahh, BAHHH).

None of us want to do it, but we will. You will go whether it be for a New Years Resolution, post-holiday binge-eating guilt, or simply because you are a weirdo who loves the gym. Watch how  I braved my post-holiday #gymfeels:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/TinaBellCreations/videos/

 

xo Tina Bell

Trick or Treat: Halloween 2016 Costumes

Hello Bellas!

I accidentally  went all-out for Halloween this year with 3 costumes. One was planned and the other 2 I had to pull out of my a$$. Halloween is all about being creative so join me in my Halloween costume journey this year.

Like every other year, I usually make one Halloween costume because I really only celebrate it one day. About 3 months ago I found a red all-sequined dress at Savers for $6 and instantly I knew what I was being for Halloween: Jessica Rabbit. It was perfect. Jessica Rabbit is the right amount of body positive sexy and classy you want in a costume.

Of course, there is always the Mean Girls age-old wear lingerie and cat ears/vampire teeth costume which never fails…but I’m not a basic bitch.

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via GIPHY

I slowly but surely got all the other pieces of my costume like gloves, a wig, heels and fake lashes. The entire outfit cost under $40 which is my limit for something I am going to wear one time once a year. I knew the day I would debut my outfit would be Saturday (the closest weekend day to Halloween you can go out without being an alcoholic) at an open bar party. THEN the Wednesday before this weekend my friend invited me to a networking Halloween party thrown by Model Club Inc. (one of the big agencies in Boston) on Thursday. They declined me representation a few months ago soooooo obviously I had to go and I had to look FABULOUS to show them what they’re missing. But, one day to muster up a drop-dead fabulous costume?!?! Not only that but I had two photoshoots earlier that day…the second of which I was completely covered in blood:

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So, I thought to myself: who is the most fabulous person I know whose wardrobe I already possess: BEYONCE. I know what you are thinking: “how do you already possess Beyonce’s wardrobe”. If you saw my closet (which you can see here: Closet Tour) you would think it belonged to a drag queen or a professional stylist/costumer…one of which I am. I quickly Googled “Beyonce Formation Tour” and combined two outfits of hers to make “my beyonce” costume because what fun is it if you just make the exact same thing?!?! Here is my inspiration:

And here is what I wore:

Friday night I was invited to my friend Nathalia Jmag‘s fashion show event in Providence. If you don’t know the name, you best learn it since she is on this season of Project Runway and is doing big things. The event was called: “Freaqshow”.

At the show I got to witness a man crowd-source $50 to staple his scrotum to his leg…and that he did. But, I digress.

Recently I was in a music video with the same carny freak-show theme and wore an old ringleader costume of mine. I could have worn that but I really don’t like repeating costumes nor do I like wearing the same outfit (costume or not) too close to one another.

So I decided to do something different and completely opposite of the theme. I used a baby pink faux fur sweater to inspire a Ariana Grande Scream Queens Costume. Here was my inspiration:

And here is what I wore:

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I know there are a limited amount of times I will be able to pay only $10 to see my fabulous friend Nathalia Jmag‘s designs on the runway before she is too famous to afford so I had to go and look fabbers.

Finally, it was Saturday night. The night I had planned and prepped for for months. I got to be one of my favorite childhood characters. I stuffed my bra and attempted to stuff my hips but the dress could not accommodate the curvy queen. At the pregame, I borrowed a safety pin from the host to keep the back of my dress from bursting at the seams from my fake boobs. The night was saved by the tiny metal pin until it burst open (luckily not exposing me for a fraud I was) while I was at the party and stabbed my finger on the dance floor. Roger Rabbit helped re-pin me and all was good again. We did not win the costume contest–although literally everyone told us we should have much like last year when my roommates and I went as The Avengers–but I know we were the winners of everyone’s hearts that night. Here was my inspiration:

jessica-and-roger

And here is what I wore:

 Jessica Rabbit Full.jpg

I hope you all had a happy and ghoulish Halloween! Let the trick or treating commence!!

xo,

Tina Bell

The Walking Dead Review: Why This Monday is Worse than Every Other Monday

SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT!

Did you get that? Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Sooooooooo. If you watch The Walking Dead and watched last night’s Season 7 premiere, then you already basically know the answer to the title of this blog post. I haven’t gotten that nauseous watching scene from a TV/movie since the “Red Wedding” episode of GOT. Let me just warn you if you haven’t seen this episode yet: its not for the faint of heart. I am going to go over what I predicted would happen, what actually happened and my thoughts for the rest of the season. Disclaimer: I have not read the comics.

My hypothesis:

I was horrified that he actually killed someone. I figured when he said they needed to be “punished” for killing all his people at that ONE camp they have that he meant kill, but alas! a ray of hope emerged when he said: “I’m going to beat the holy hell out of one of you”. Beat the holy crap out of someone?! Okay. We will take it! Even though I hoped he was going to “stay true to [his] word” and only disfigure someone with his bat, deep down I knew he was going to kill someone. Just beating someone up doesn’t really seem fair in this apocalyptic society of Hammurabian vigilantes.

However, the way I thought it was going to go down:  he was going to beat the sh** out of someone minor and then someone major was going to be killed for acting out because Neegan did say: “the first one is free”. Since they already used their first strike, I figured the WD crew was going to use up a second one real quick. Why a major character death prediction? Because a major character hasn’t died in a long time. They have been killing off minor characters for quite a few seasons now and any “major” characters were ones that quickly stole our hearts but were not part of the original crew.

I hoped it would be Maggie. “WHAT?! HOW DARE YOU SAY THAT, SHES PREGNANT!!”, you say? Yes, I know. But killing Maggie would have been the most merciful thing to do. We have all seen how difficult it was for Rick to lose his wife to child birth (remember people…they do not have modern medicine or a doctor any more…that’s why they were on the road in the first place). Also, how annoying its been for the writers to keep Judith around. This society is no place for a baby and babies just slow down plot. THERE I SAID IT. YOU ALL WERE THINKING IT BECAUSE ITS TRUE. All that being said, I knew she wouldn’t go.

I predicted either Red or Darryl would be killed. We all know that’s a partly true prediction now. Based on the foundation of my prediction being dependent upon Neegan actually staying true to his word and just beating the crap out of someone, I thought those two were crazy brave enough to stand-up and say something that would set Neegan off.  Why I predicted them: Red was to the right of Rick and seems to be a strapping man (Rick’s “right-hand man” to an outsider) and the blood spatter was on Rick’s right cheek. Or Darryl: Rick’s actual “right-hand man” and clearly a fighter since they stole his bow and they know he’s killed/maimed a few of his men. Right before the show started my boyfriend said: chose one person you think is going to die. I chose Red because I didn’t think they would be bold enough to kill Darryl…I thought Neegan and his bandits could use him (and they did). My boyfriend predicted Aaron.

I am not surprised Glenn died. I am not surprised about anything that happened in last night’s episode. Red died which I predicted. And now that I know Glenn dies, it makes sense. Glenn has almost died more than anyone else on the show…including RICK. 10 times he almost or seemingly died. I guess I assumed the writers wouldn’t let him survive that whole terrible ordeal the season prior just to come home and get killed for real this time…especially since he somehow always makes it out alive against all odds. I did not predict him dying for that reason. I am a bit bummed but not surprised. His clock was ticking and I forgot the other time the writers did that exact thing to a character: Beth. As soon as Darryl lashed out like the man-child that he is, I knew Glenn was going to get it based on the camera angle:

glenn-death

Notice how right after Neegan puts Darryl back in line, he walks over to Glenn’s side of the semi-circle. For quite some time Glenn is in the center of the screen and Neegan is off-center–this is when I knew it would be Glenn next. And it makes sense. That would give the most shock value–his love is pregnant, hes a fighter, a main character and everyone Maggie has ever been close with dies (seriously, she’s cursed…let this be a warning to all not to get close with Maggie). If you are into film theory at all, you would have seen this too.

What actually happened: 

As you know now by either watching, reading spoilers or reading this blog; Glenn and Red bite the dust. Red gets it first; after Neegan’s first hit with the bat (which he likely would have bled out from anyways had he stopped there) Red said: “suck my balls” like the Badass he is. Neegan appreciates his spirit then beats on his head for about 10 minutes straight. You would think that made it very clear to everyone else not to try anything stupid. Alas, no. Darryl decides to do what we all hoped but feared someone would do which was punch Neegan. Neegan says thats a “no-no” then turns and kills Glenn but not before Glenn utters “I will find you” to Maggie with one eye popped out of his head. Awww, such a romantic til his last breath. Rick then takes a turn not learning his lesson and decides to tell Negan he will kill him at some point in the near vague future. Negan takes him on a joy ride where he makes him fight zombies in the fog to retrieve his former ax that is now Negan’s ax (because Rick and everyone else are now Negan’s bi***). Rick is still not broken until Negan makes him cut off his own son’s arm in exchange for saving his whole crew’s life including his son’s. Rick was about to do it then Negan spared him because he finally saw the look of a broken man in Rick’s eyes. End summary.

What I wished happened at the end of the episode:

I am kind of bummed Rick didn’t just stick with his guns and refuse to cut off his son’s arm. I mean honestly, what kind of life is that to live. For Carl, he now has one eye and one arm and is essentially useless. For Rick, he gets to live with the fact he has maimed his own flesh and blood to save some people that will all inevitably die any ways. And for everyone else, witnessing their “leader” maim his son to save their lives–that makes you feel pretty shitty. Neegan’s crew had a gun to everyone’s head–I say let Neegan kill them all and hope he will be merciful and shoot most of them in the head then Carl will probably suffer the same fate as Red and Glenn, but at this point Rick has lost his wife and watched two of his closest “family” friends be murdered in front of him. Come on now. Just let it go. You all are going to die one way or another unless this all turns out to be a bad dream. Why do you want to live in this zombieland anyways. Do I think I could survive for a long time in a zombie apocalypse? Yes. Do I want to? No. I am going to almost instantly kill myself if that ever happens like: BYE WORLD!

Looking forward: 

I really do not know what going to happen. I am extremely disappointed at the way that whole ordeal was handled that I dont really care what happens this season. I really hope this doesn’t turn into a season of Rick groveling at Neegan’s feet the whole time until he goes bat-shit and murders him somehow and gets killed because he could have just done that in last night’s episode. I feel like hes going to plot revenge and its going to be cool but unrealistic that nearly everyone survives…yet again. *sigh* I love this show, don’t get me wrong, but it is wildly unrealistic and starting to be dragged out and a string of recycled plots…merp. Regardless, I am excited and do hope he seeks some sort of revenge and that it doesn’t take as long as it took him to kill the Governor. My question is: why don’t they just leave Alexandria? They left the farm, they left the prison, they left the Governor’s town and they came to Alexandria. I’d be like #BYEALEXANDRIA!! #ByeAlexandria should be the new #ByeFelicia. 

bye alexandria.jpg

That’s all I got today folks. Sorry this is long and ranty–but I hope you enjoyed!

xo

Tina Bell

#TeaTimeWithTina: Photoshoot Makeup Tutorial

Hello Bellas,

Whenever I go to a photoshoot or film set, people ask me who did my makeup. The answer is: me! A year ago I would looked like a 2-year-old who got her hands on a kids makeup set full of child-safe wax lipstick and blush. Now, I look my age and am always photo-ready. Its so important whether you are a model, actor or going out to look your best since our society today is driven by image-focused social media like IG or FB. I’m talking about just enhancing your normal features, not making you look like a stranger (I’ll save that for another time). So, whether you are on screen or behind it watching embarrassing family videos at your Grandma’s 80th, you want to be ready for pictures (you really think your Uncle who just bought a Canon and now thinks hes a professional photographer is NOT going to take photos then you are mistaken). Be ready with this simple makeup tutorial with affordable drug-store makeup tips.

If you are not into makeup and look/feel fabulous without it, MORE POWER TO YA!! But not knowing how to properly apply your makeup is no excuse after you watch my video!! I call this “headshot makeup”.

Enjoy!

xo

Tina Bell

Million Dollar Baby Monologue By: Tina Bell

Hello Bellas,

It has been a hot second since I have posted here. Sorry but I have tons of goodies in the works I am just waiting to post on here and YouTube. Most recently, I reached out to a casting director to apply for a female feature role in an indie film. Even though I was having MANY technical difficulties attaching my resume from my phone (my phone pooped the bed for a little bit), when I was able to successfully attach the file on my desktop after 3 tries (3rd times the charm?), she was shockingly still interested in my application. She selected me to record a video monologue to be submitted to the Director. The cool part about that is that they get TONS of applications, and a only a select few get to submit video monologues and the select few chosen from that lot, get submitted to the Director. Its a whole vetting process.

She gave me Hillary Swank’s monologue from Million Dollar Baby and told me to take some time to put some real emotion behind it. And that I did. Here is it:

She liked my video monologue submission so much that she said she would submit it to the Director as her FIRST choice and BEST submission she received. I was FLOORED. I was at my job as a Bridal Sales Consultant, that I just picked up to make ends meet and supplement my dreams, when  I got the email. I let out a little squeal of excitement (luckily I was alone) and went home to make a FB status on my personal account to thank everyone for the love and support (friends, family and fans first).

FUN FACT: earlier in the day that I recorded this, I did a photoshoot with Zachary Stone Photography and was rolling around in the forest for some really beautiful stuff. He asked when we should shoot and I said earlier in the day because I had to cry for a monologue and didn’t want to ruin my makeup for the shoot (because I HATE waterproof mascara).

Now, I am excited to share all my hard work and hopefully use this monologue for future submissions that fit the bill. Give it a like, comment and share please!!

xo

Tina Bell