Sunday, September 30, 2012

Book Review- Mother of Pearl

Mother of Pearl was a very sad book. The beginning is very upbeat, and fun. It portrays the life of Barrie, the perfect mom. As the story continued it went downhill on the fun and light writing. I was filled with a sudden overwhelming sense of sadness. I do not know if that was the authors intention, but I literally had to put the book aside for awhile. The total loss, grief and despair the human being faces alone without God, fills one with sadness. 

Though the book does not mention anything about Barrie's spiritual status, I  automatically assumed she was a christian. It wasn't until the middle of the book, did I realize she wasn't. As you knew more about Barrie, I wanted to see how she was going to receive Jesus into her heart, but that never happened, much to my dislike. The story would have been much better, had she allowed the Lord to carry her grief and heal her. With a particular character, I felt like the author was really putting the name of Christ down. This character was covered with multiple piercings, tattoos, and had a goth- like appearance, and he was supposedly Christian. Though we as Christians do not judge, or shouldn't, others should be able to see Jesus through your daily walk and appearance. According to 2 Cor. 5: 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come. If he truly is a changed person he should reflect it outward and inward. 

The writing style, which was in first person, I would have preferred seeing what others were thinking throughout the story, was good. The author kept you engaged throughout the story. My favorite part was near the end. A legal battle was depicted, and kept you at the edge of your seat. With the constant objection your honor, and cross examination questions, pumps you up. Write when your at the very edge of your seat, the book abruptly finishes. I was so shocked, that it was done, would have definitely wanted a more decent ending. All in all Mother of Pearl was an okay read. I would give it a 3. 5 out of 5.

I received this book from, Glass Roads, in exchange for this honest review. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Canon vs Nikon- Stella

Today and the last interview comes from Stella. Her blog is one I found about a month or two back. She takes lovely photos, and she does not have either Canon or Nikon! So far we have one "vote"for Nikon from Kiley, and one vote for Canon from Eve. Madeline likes Nikon, but plans to switch. I choose someone that had neither to have a fair opinion:) Enjoy...

What do you use? I use a Panasonic Lumix GF1, and I love it!

What/ Who influenced your decision? My uncle who is a photographer suggested the camera to my mom, and my mom fell in love with the camera! 

Canon or Nikon? Why?  Although Nikon is a good brand, the flash I took with, made the photos look somewhat sloppy and difficult to like. 

Have you shot with the other brand? I've taken with my friend's cameras and some school cameras and I must say that I've had better experiences with Canon. 

What advice would you give to beginners with editing their photos? When it comes to editing, I always focus on colors. There's a function on Photoshop that allows you to choose which specific color scheme you want to follow. Photos follow the color scheme of red, green and blue. What I do is I look at the colors of the photo I have and look for the best combinations among the color schemes. It's not an easy procedure! It's important to remember the theme you want to keep at your photos. I go around the soft, vintage and quiet theme. I'm not a fan of cross processing, they look photos look too loud, which totally contradicts with what I want my photos to look like. Editing is also a matter of preference, I guess.

Attached are some of my latest favorite photos :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Canon VS. Nikon- Madeline

Todays interview is from Madeline over at Flame in the Darkness. It is so fun to see how she is rapidly progressing in her photography skills. After becoming a intern for Jessica Shae with a couple of other girls she seems to have blossomed overnight! I love seeing her business website and see how she is growing. Now Madeline with you girls...


I'm honored to be counted as one of your favorite photography bloggers, also I just started my photography business website here:

What do you use? Currently, I shoot with a Nikon D3100 + 35mm f/1.8. I am planning on upgrading as soon as I can afford to do so.

What/ Who influenced your decision? I did a bunch of research and my camera came out the best of all the ones in my price range. Plus I had found an awesome deal!

Canon or Nikon? Why? Right now I'm shooting with Nikon, but when I upgrade I will be switching to Canon the reasons behind this are many. I am not a brand loyalist! One of the leading factors is that I am pursuing wedding photography at a professional level and I feel like the Canon EOS 5D Mark iii will be the best camera to support me in my business I am not switching because I believe the camera will make me better or because many photographers shoot with Canon, I am switching because I feel it has the best to offer me. :)

Have you shot with the other brand?I have just used some of my friend's canon camera's for fun and of course I have shot with Nikon extensively.

What advice would you give to beginners wanting to shoot manual mode?
Just go for it! Practice, Practice, Practice! Shooting manual will help you improve your photography, so its definitely worth the time it takes to work on it!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Canon or Nikon- Eve

Todays Canon or Nikon interview is from Eve over at Essence of Eve. She is such a fantastic photographer! She is also a fellow Canon sister:) So without further ado...

Oh, I'm so honored you picked me! Here are my answers:

What do you use?  I currently shoot with a Canon Rebel XS and have two lenses, including the standard kit lens and a 55-250mm telephoto.
However, I'll be purchasing a Canon 5D MK2 with a 50mm 1.4 in two weeks (after working and saving up for it all summer
long), and so, as I'm sure you can guess, I'm crazy excited! :D

What/ Who influenced your decision? Well, I had Canon recommended to me by a friend, and after doing my own internet research, I settled on the XS. As a
beginner, it suited my needs perfectly & did a great job of introducing me to photography. Now that I've
developed and grown as a photographer though, and plan on opening my own little photography business soon, I felt the need to upgrade. I have long admired the MK2, with its insanely high ISO settings and full-frame sensor, and am blessed to be able to get my own! :)

Canon or Nikon? Why? For myself, I would have to say Canon. It's not that I have anything against Nikon, in fact, I'm convinced that it is also a great brand, I'm just already used to the way Canon works. I know all the settings, buttons, etc. and switching to Nikon would mean having to get used to a whole different look.

Have you shot with the other brand? No, I haven't myself used a Nikon, but I've heard nice things about it. :)

What advice would you give to beginners? Pay attention to light ( a helpful post). If you have a great subject, angle, location, and set up, but lack appropriate lighting conditions, your photos will turn out... let's just say not pretty. Learn to see and be creative ( a little something I wrote on the subject). 
There are tons of little things (and big ones too!) out there, just waiting to be photographed and/or used as props, Find them and capture them - YOUR way. And finally, keep shooting. A well known photography quote is 'Your first 10,000 photos are your worst.' I believe that's true... and you must find out for yourself. ;)

Monday, September 17, 2012

I Believe...

I believe...

I believe Jesus is God. Jesus is 100% God and 100% man. He died on the cross to set us free from an eternity condemned in hell.

I believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I believe that when one gets baptized with water, he must be immersed, not sprinkled. Baptism is to be done in the name of Jesus. 

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Acts 2:38

Marriage is a beautiful and holy thing, that was established in the beginning:

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Genesis 2:24

Marriage is an everlasting covenant between 1 man and 1 woman.

Each child wether born or still being formed in its mother's womb is special and unique. I believe that a baby is alive, not when it first cries, but when he/she is still in their mother's womb.  If tiny germs, algae and bacteria are considered alive, why aren't unborn children? 

I believe in a personal relationship with Jesus. I can call to Him for whatever and whenever. I do not need to pray to anyone for God to hear my petitions. Saints, the Pope, nor any recited prayers will ever do me any good. It is through Jesus and Him alone!

Salvation is not gained by works, but one is saved by grace.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
Ephesians 2:8, 9

I beleive that the Word of God is true and accurate. The true word of God consists of 66 books! 

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
2 Timothy 3: 16

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
Revelation 22: 18, 19

I belivieve that one day Jesus is coming back to claim his church, His bride. He will come back for us and take us to heaven, where He has prepared mansions for all His children.

My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
John 14:2,3

It is very important to have firm convictions and know where you stand so that you aren't swayed by someone's carefully indoctrinated philosophies and or ideas.

As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!
Galatians 1:9

All Scriptures taken from NIV 1984 version.  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bear Mountain

For some pre-birthday fun, for my little sister, we went to Bear Mountain. This would definitely make a beautiful photo-shoot location.

Just a peak of a mountain peak;)

Picnic lunch




Manual! Booyah!

Look at the pool!

Look at my little fish

Too cold type of face, but going to jump in mind

Now you see me. Now you don't

NOTE: I do not know how to swim:( At the beginning of this trip I could only go underneath holding my nose and then...

NO I did not learn to swim, but could go underneath without holding my nose! That's a huge victory for me. At the end I was just throwing myself inside.

It was pretty cold. I was once again two, sucking my thumb

Me and my out of the water mermaid hair. This is my natural hair.

Bye pool/ summer. Hopefully next year I'll be swimming!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Canon or Nikon

Coke or Pepsi? Canon or Nikon? 

We all have our own opinions. I personally have a Pepsi and Canon preference. Why? Well because my mom does and Canon rings professional, as Nikon doesn't to me. Most of our choices believe it or not, are based by someone who influences us, our role model. Whether it be our parents, pastor, friend or aunt, whoever that person is, motivates you to think and act like them. As the older one gets, we may become someones role model even if we do not know it. Our actions may influence someones life tremendously. 

Wow! My Canon and Nikon interview turned into a Bible study. I have asked a couple of my favorite photographers a few questions, and since I am a Canon girl, I'll start you off with a Nikon user, so as not to appear partial.

What do you use? I use the Nikon 3100.

What/Who influenced your decision? My influence to go with Nikon, was my aunt, who had a Nikon SLR at the time.

Canon or Nikon? Why? I have Nikon now because I like the format better, and I just prefer Nikon over Canon, I can't exactly get my finger on what made me switch but I'm happy with what I use now. 

Have you shot with the other brand? When I first entered the world of SLR's, I had Canon. Something about it just didn't seem right to me, even though I loved having a new "big" camera. I switched to Nikon after selling my brand new Canon, and here I am today.

What advice would you give for beginners? As for beginner advice? I'd say never give up. I know it sounds cliche, but really.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Lifuse- With Every Letter

With Every Letter is a WW|| romance, drama, and action filled story, a great beginning to a new series. As a an avid Sarah Sundin reader, I was looking forward to getting my hands on this book. Used to the B-17 planes, pilots, bombings and the intense battle scenes, this book was totally different. Including anonymous letter writing between the two main characters, Mellie and Tom, proved difficult in my mind to picture how the book would play out.

But have no fear Sarah pulled the story out beautifully. Her writing style is so engaging. She writes at a steady pace and then picks up, allowing one to relax and continue reading. Her story plots are so fresh and unique, though it did remind me of the movie You've Got Mail.

At first I had a hard time relating to the main character, Mellie. She was a 23 year old American woman born in Philippine, who had never had a single friend. At first I thought how can she have never had a friend, some people can be quirky-yes, but in 23 years to have never had one friend seemed unconceivable. As the story progressed I was able to understand and bond with her very well with her.

Both Mellie and Tom found freedom in anonymity. They were finally having the chance to be their real selves with out anyone judging, or making fun of them. As they begin to open their hearts to one another they begin to thrive in ways they never thought imaginable. Mellie, oh yes, she makes friends! It was heart warming to see her complete rookie mistakes in the friendship game. She begins to open up and explore life out of the shell. This book made me value true friendships all the more. Sarah shows what happens when friends betray one another, the affects it has on all parties and the healing of broken friendships. 

Tom, as friendly as can be, never experienced the joy of true friendship. Tied down by his fathers shameful name, no one comes close enough for him to be his real self. Burdened with the fear of becoming his father, leads him to do some things that further alienate him from everyone. When his skills of leadership are questioned will he be able to stand up and be a man, or does being a man mean being like his father?

When the thought of breaking anonymity occurs to both, the book takes a complete turn, throwing the  reader into suspense over and over. Will they overcome their fears and reveal who they are, or will their future be held hostage by their pasts? 

Oh I can continue singing the wonders of this book, but instead of reading my review, grab a copy of With Every Letter, a 5 star read you will not be sorry you picked up. 

I received this book for free, from Litfuse, in exchange for this honest review. 

Friday, September 07, 2012


Finally the end of the week. With the end of the week comes the winners! Most likely your not even reading this, your probably glancing to see if your name came up:) 

All giveaways connected with my blogiversary are closed!

First of all I wanted to thank all of my sponsors: Desiree, Casey, Amy, Kelly- Anne, and Kianna! Thank you for your generosity! 

This was an interesting outcome, but I completely walked with integrity and I hope the winners are pleased! Email me by Monday 1:00 p.m. EST to claim your prize! Other winner will be chosen if not. 

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Giveaway No.5- Kianna

Today marks the end of the giveaways, and I have one more goody for you gals. Todays giveaway comes from someone I know personally, namely, Kianna. I've known Kianna techinically since I was born. Our mothers are sisters and she is just 3 weeks older than me. We've, as my grandma says, shared the same crib, and have grown up together. Kianna is the person I would text any random thing because I know she'll get it.

Enough of my reminiscing, on to the giveaway. Today one of you ladies will be entered to win this lovely keychain

These bottle cap keychains are great for displaying your name or other personalized text. You can easily ring this keychain onto your keys, purse or backpack.
Each bottle cap keychain includes:
*your color choice of patterned or plain paper
*coordinating decorative beads
*your choice of initial or other personalized text
*epoxy coating
Each bottle cap measures about 1 inch in diameter.

To Enter: Leave a separate comment for each entry! U.S. residents only.
Giveaway Ends: September 07!

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Litfuse- Unending Devotion

My Review:

Unending Devotion was not your cheesy romance novel. This book was so profound, it leaves you wanting to change the world once your done. I am so glad to have had the privilege of reading one of Jody Hedlund's books. From what I've heard and now experienced, she is and exceptional writer.

The characters were not just your typical perfect people. They reflected many different issues, including remaining pure in thoughts and actions. The fact that the characters were willing to admit their faults, change, and not judge others was a very refreshing aspect to the book. The secondary characters were also written with such detailed description that they held a main portion in ones heart even if they weren't the main characters. My favorite second character would be hands down, Oren. His stooped shoulders, droopy mustache, and his quickness with his gun to protect Lilly was heart warming. His constant threats left you laughing throughout the book
"No one touches Lily"- the man jabbed the tip into Connell's temple, grinding it into his throbbing pulse- "and lives to tell about it."

Though many can tend to judge the choices that women chose, in concerning becoming prostitutes, this book is not judgmental, it is the opposite. You are left with a deep ache and sadness at the miserable lives the women live, the constant depravity, and the loosing of their souls. You don't judge, instead you want to be right alongside Lilly rescuing the poor girls in the middle of the night to freedom. 

I enjoyed the fast plot. From the very first page you were thrust into a scene of action, and throughout the book there was plenty more. Just when your heart is racing from the expected, then out of nowhere the unexpected occurs leaving you once again breathless. Even when all things went "right" and I thought I can now breathe, you were sometimes surprised how the right quickly went so wrong.

Unending Devotion is a book you do not want to miss! Wether you like, action, romance, biblical encouragement, photography, or just a laugh- out- loud read Unending Devotion is for you. I give this book its much deserved 5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free, from Litfuse, in exchange for this honest review.

Celebrate with Jody by entering to win a Nikon Camera Prize Pack!

One “devoted” winner will receive:
  • A Nikon COOLPIX Digital Camera
  • $25 Shutterfly gift certficate
  • Unending Devotion by Jody Hedlund
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 17th. Winner will be announced at the “Unending Deovtion” Author Chat Facebook Party on 9/18. Connect with Jody, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at a trivia contest, and chat with readers just like yourself. There will also be gift certificates, books and a Book Club Prize Pack to be won (10 copies for your book club or small group)!

So grab your copy of Unending Devotion and join Jody on the evening of the September 18th for a chance to connect with Jody and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book – don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 18th!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Giveaway No.4 - Kelly- Anne

Sorry about the late post today, time was against me. I've been super excited to share this giveaway with you ladies, and finally I'm ready.

Todays giveaway comes to you all the way from South Africa! Kelly the blogger over at Beautiful Girlhood is an one- of- a- kind crafter. She does paper crafts, sewing crafts, cooking, blogging, and photography.

Last February I had the privilege of winning one of her crafts that she was giving away at her blog. These are absolutely b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l. How many of you think she should start an Etsy?

I was so glad, that she was willing to sponsor with one of her paper crafts, namely some bookmarks! One of you ladies will be able to win this lovely 2 bookmark and card set! 

To Enter: Leave a separate comment for each entry! U.S. residents only.
Giveaway Ends: September 07!

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Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Giveaway- Amy

Verb: Cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority.
Noun: The action of surrendering.
Synonyms: verb. yield - give in - submit - give up - capitulate
noun. capitulation - delivery - resignation
What a powerful word packed into just three syllables. When one ceases resistance to God and submits to His authority, it makes for a complete and blessed life. I strive to Surrender it All To Him everyday, hence the name. What thing or situation in your life will you cease to resist God with and submit to His authority

Amy over at A Heart Surrendered has so graciously donated these beautiful rose earrings, that haven't even made it publicly to her shop, for one of you ladies. Don't wear earrings? Enter anyway to give to friend you know who does.

To Enter: Leave a separate comment for each entry!
Giveaway Ends: September 07!

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Monday, September 03, 2012

Giveaway No.2- Casey

Many know Casey for her book blog, where she reviews books, and hosts book giveaways. She has a natural talent of writing. She is able to express the depth of her feelings in the simplest of words. Not only does she have a gift of writing, but also crafting. Casey makes such beautiful bead jewelry. You can say she is a girl with many talents. Here are some examples of her work:

Now to the giveaway! Casey has so graciously offered to give one lady this beautifully hand crafted bracelet. 

Made with quality glass cats' eye beads in vibrant, light catching colors, the bracelet is made to be worn to add that bit of "pretty" to an everyday outfit or dress up the most formal of occasions. 
High-quality strong wire, made to withstand the toughest of beatings and quality ensured lobster claw clasp, this bracelet is sure to become the favorite part of your wardrobe. 
Or so *I* an avid wearer of all my bracelets. ;-)

To Enter: Leave a separate comment for each entry! U.S. Residents only.
Giveaway Ends: September 07!

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