Friend with Benefits

Whether you’ve read my blog a day, a month, or a year, you’ve seen the name Lisa and her blog, LDA Press. She is a lovely lady, trusted resource, and my friend. Unfortunately, we’ve never met in person.

Lisa and I were introduced in 2007 when I joined the marketing and business development team at a large transportation consulting firm. She was in the Virginia Beach, VA office and I was based in Fort Worth, Texas. Our jobs were extremely stressful and required many long hours. When one of us completed a major deadline, or needed a friend’s ear to hear our rants, we’d schedule a conference call to discuss projects offer co-worker therapy. I don’t miss the job, but I definitely miss the meetings therapeutic sessions.

Now, conversations between Lisa and I are about blogging, photography, traveling, life in general, and something called shopping. I hate it, Lisa loves it. Luckily, she’s always willing to be my personal shopper. She’s a friend with benefits. HA – that sounds so kinky!!! When I need wardrobe suggestions, Lisa is my stylist. When I need photography/camera/Photoshop advice, she is my living and breathing tutorial. When I need a resume reference, she’s got my back. When I was looking for a quiche recipe, she gave sent me this.

After Christmas, I wanted to get a larger camera bag. I also wanted something that could function as a carry-on for an upcoming trip. I sent Lisa an email with my budget and requests. Lisa replied with links to items I would have never found (or considered) on my own. She shared valuable insight on multipurpose bags and her list of essential items for long-distance travel. Shortly after, I purchased the following items:


Kalya Town Cross-Body Bag$47.99
Spacious Bag | Lifetime Warranty | Free Shipping

ONO organizing insert — $59.00
Handcrafted | Multiple pockets | Fits in most bags or purses

CoolMax Travel Blanket  — $34.00
Super Soft | Ultra Compact | 55-x-70 inches

A travel blanket is not usually associated with camera bags, but Lisa made a valid point: plane rides can be chilly. I already have a travel pillow, so this blanket will be an extra treat on the flight!

The Kalya cross-body bag features a main compartment where I place the ONO insert to store my camera and lenses. There’s also room for my travel blanket and pillow. Multiple interior pockets have space for a wallet, passport, and travel documents, plus additional camera accessories (memory cards, battery charger, filter lens, etc.). For my trip, I’m also taking plug adapters, a journal, and my new Android tablet. This bag is spacious without feeling bulky and fits comfortably on my tall and plus-size frame. Overall, I could not be happier with this purchase!

The moral of this story?

You need a friend with benefits.


By |2013-01-13T00:02:05+00:00January 13th, 2013|Blog|0 Comments

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  1. Lisa D. January 13, 2013 at 6:59 am - Reply

    I’m so glad they all worked out. And I love being your friend with benefits. =) I hope you have an amazing time on this trip you’ve got coming up!!


    • Nicole January 13, 2013 at 10:10 am - Reply

      I love having YOU as my friend with benefits! The camera bag (with insert) is amazing, I love it. As for the blanket, that’s icing on the cake. THANK YOU!!!!

  2. Celeste Zachry January 13, 2013 at 8:22 am - Reply

    Ok, that’s all dandy. YOU’RE my friend w/ benefits. YOU’RE my go-to girl. What I want to know is where are you headed?

    • Nicole January 13, 2013 at 1:43 pm - Reply

      Ohhh, you know, just a little trip to another continent. To a little place called Jerusalem. Swim in the Dead Sea. Visit the Garden of Gethsemane. You know, just a little hop, skip, and a jump across the pond. EEEEK!!

      • Celeste Zachry January 13, 2013 at 6:00 pm - Reply

        Duh. I knew that. Wasn’t 100% sure it was still happening. I’m gonna pray HARD for safety but am so glad you’re going!

        • Nicole January 13, 2013 at 6:02 pm - Reply

          Always thankful for prayer warriors, you are the best! Sorry I missed you this morning, I gave Daughter #1 a hug … tell her to share the love!!!!

  3. JenniferLeighBlog January 14, 2013 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    I have a purple Tenba camera bag just like that purple one you posted (it’s almost the exact same color actually). I really like it, but I’ve switched to a rolling bag now since the crossbody one just gets so heavy!

    • Nicole January 14, 2013 at 10:05 pm - Reply

      Jennifer, I was really surprised at the weight difference with the 50mm lens. HOLY COW that thing is heavy!!!! But it’s so worth the extra weight for the extra special quality. Plus, the bag is heavy right now because I’ve begun packing things for the 18-hour flight that I will NOT be carrying with me on the daily tours.

  4. Cynthia January 14, 2013 at 10:38 pm - Reply

    You and Lisa are so blessed to have each other! Have a great time on your trip Nicole. I hear it is an amazing place.

    • Nicole January 14, 2013 at 10:44 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Cynthia! I’m blessed to have LOTS of wonderful people in my life …. near and far. As for my trip, I’m beyond excited. To the point that I’m speechless and THAT doesn’t happen often!!!!! Big hugs. 🙂

  5. hollihd January 15, 2013 at 1:40 pm - Reply

    Jerusalem?!!! Wow that is so totally cool! I know that will be an AMAZING trip and i ‘m already excited to hear all about it. Prayers for safety and good travels are starting now. Hugs girlie!

    • Nicole January 15, 2013 at 9:04 pm - Reply

      Yes, Holli, JERUSALEM!!!! I’m so excited and will definitely send pictures. Thanks for the prayers, always appreciated. 🙂

  6. aimeeberrett January 21, 2013 at 11:03 am - Reply

    She sounds like the best kind of friend! I love love love that camera bag, but since my husband and I share our camera (for now until we can save up lots of money for another) I don’t think he would be okay carrying a purple or cutesy camera bag – dang it. One day 😉 Enjoy your trip to Jerusalem, I am so jealous!

    • Nicole January 21, 2013 at 3:36 pm - Reply

      Hey Aimee, thanks for the sweet comment. I have to say, in defense of the camera bag, they are relatively cheap *AND* come in other colors, including man-friendly ones. Just saying. I’m definitely going to enjoy my trip in Jerusalem, it’s still surreal that I’m leaving NEXT week. Eeeek!!!!

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