Monday, July 31, 2017

My Chicago Summer Bucket List & On-the-Go Photo Tips

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, Walmart Family Mobile. All opinions are mine alone. #SummerIsForSavings #CollectiveBias #WFM2

Summer is breezing past us, and we still have many items left on our Chicago summer bucket list. Some of these activities I would do as part of my own self-care, and some would be fun to do as a family! My goal for the next weeks is to do as many of my wish list items as possible. I've already tried kayaking on the Chicago River and a mermaid fitness class, along with countless beach days, so with about seven weeks of summer officially left, I have exactly seven activities  left to do in the city. Sure, I've done most of these before, but they are certainly worth doing every year!

My Chicago summer bucket list for 2017:

1. Attend a new street festival. You can find a food, music or arts festival just about every weekend in the summer!

2. Embark on an architecture cruise on the Chicago River. These tours never get old!

3. Go stand-up paddleboarding on Lake Michigan. I have tried SUP before, but I want to master it while taking in city views!

4. Watch a movie in Millennium Park. I recently went to a concert at Jay Pritzker Pavilion, where the movies are screened, and it reminded me that I never actually watched a movie there. Movies in the parks are a fun way to spend an evening, and they're free!

5. Practice yoga on the beach. Outdoor yoga is so much fun!

6. Send summer off with a cruise on Lake Michigan. We've done this every summer since we've lived here.

7. Stroll around Lincoln Park Conservatory. Taking photographs of plants is one of my favorite activities.

Ready, set, go!

In the past I've shared my ideas to save money for travel, but there's one more thing I've done to help me pay for fun, whether it's exploring Chicago or visiting a new place. I wanted to capture the memories we create this summer and save money while also investing in my myself and my goals for this blog. With that in mind, I turned to Walmart Family Mobile's $49.88 PLUS Plan (Unlimited Talk, Text & Data Plan), which is powered by T-Mobile's nationwide 4G LTE† network. I wanted to have a new tool to keep me connected, help me store and take photos, consolidate my photo and social apps in one place, and give me more flexibility. It was super easy and convenient to get started on Walmart Family Mobile's $49.88 PLUS Plan and it includes up to 15 GB of 4G LTE† data, then 2G*. I picked up the LG L59 Grace from the selection of phones at Walmart and then getting activated took only a few minutes. There's no contract and you can keep your phone number and even your phone.

Using the phone and the expanded 15 GB of 4G LTE† data helps me not only share my memories on social media and my blog more seamlessly, but it helps me keep more of a balance between my blog and my family life. It's a plus that the monthly $49.88 PLUS Plan is easy on my wallet and has no activation fees or late charges, and you can pick from Walmart's clear monthly plan options to fit your own budget.

Disclaimer: All prices for phones and plans included in this post are accurate as of the date of posting; however, these prices are subject to change. Please refer to this page or your local Walmart for current pricing.

Taking/sharing photos on the go this summer:

  • Don't rush to get a shot. When you are in a hurry you are more likely to shake the camera or phone you are shooting with, which yields blurry photos. Take a deep breath and slow down. That means don't worry about what other people think about you snapping a photo or getting your photo taken. Take your time.
  • Try multiple angles and poses. Instead of taking a phone at eye level with your subject, try getting down low or taking the photo from above. Step forward and back (while checking where you are stepping) to take the photo. Take the same photo at least three ways.
  • You can use either your camera and phone to take great photos. When using your phone, turn on the Pro or HDR setting and download photo editing apps to help you.
  • For the photos on my camera that I want to share instantly, I use a mobile adapter that was fairly affordable to send them to my phone and then upload them to social media using a Nikon app. It takes just a minute! The little adapter plugs into my camera and then I can see and download photos on my phone. I then share where I please. 

  • Find the best natural lighting to avoid using the flash. I prefer photos without flash because they look more natural and better overall. 
  • Use a tripod with a remote to take fun time-lapse photos (like when you watch fireworks at Navy Pier!). Tripods can be found in all price ranges, and often another object can act as a stand to keep your camera still as well. 
  • Organize all your photo apps, social media and related apps in one folder on your home screen to make them easily accessible on the go. Don't waste valuable time that could be spent exploring your city!

My home screen on the LG L59 Grace has folders for my social media, photography and other frequently used apps.

Besides offering the data to suit your needs, the $49.88 PLUS Plan also provides a free VUDU◊ movie rental credit valued at $7.00 each time you renew your service.

What's on your summer bucket list? Share it with me in the comments!

*Please always refer to the latest terms and conditions at

†To get 4G LTE speed, you must have a 4G LTE capable device and 4G LTE SIM Card. Actual availability, coverage and speed may vary. LTE is a trademark of ETSI.

Disclaimer: ◊Limited time offer. Available for lines active with the PLUS $49.88 plan only. VUDU enabled device and account required for digital viewing. Customers must be 18 years or older to open a VUDU account. Movie rental only available in the USA. Free movie rental provided in the form of a movie rental code to the value of a $7.00 VUDU credit. Movie rental code allows for selection from available movies for rent. May not be readily redeemable on all new releases. Code will be delivered within up to 24 hours of the effective account renewal date. Must be used within 30 days of receiving code. Offer is non-transferable. Limit 1 per customer. Additional terms and conditions on VUDU's website:

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