6.30.2016

June Wrap

How can it be July??? I just wrote May's Monthly Highlights post...didn't I??? ;)
This month literally flew by...July is upon me and I'm freaking out in a good way. ;D Soooo many exciting things are hopefully going to happen in July and I'm very excited! =) But let's first wrap up June before we think of July... =D


ADVENTURES.

//I went on a few thrift store excursions and got a few things. =)

//My family and I played BeanBoozled which is the grossest most awfully wonderful game. Yeah. Go get some. It's awful. **runs out of the room because rotten egg jelly beans make me gag**

//My goals are going quite well! That's what home days are for...

;D

//We went to a small fisherman sort of town that we love to visit!

And got rained on...;)

//We also got to swim in a spring! It was cooooollldddd. **shivers** But also super *cool*!! ;)

//I worked a bit on my novel and it's coming! Not incredibly fast, but coming...=)

//I helped our church hand out water-bottles for something called "Connect Week" which was fun...and hot. ;)

//I participated in a 30 day photography challenge which was very fun! =)

// I read so many good books!!

//.....................................................................................................................................;)

BOOKS.

Soooo...I read 11 books this month! I had a personal goal to read 10 so I even surpassed that...by one. ;D

Book Read:11


I loved reading all of these books!!! "The Old River Road" was soooo good as well as "The Pursuit of God", "Secret Keeper", "Lady in Waiting", "Prague Counterpoint", "Beauty Begins"...yeah...haha! They all were good!!! =D 

                                                  BLOGGING.

There were some awesome things posted on this month! I'll share a few below...

Abi is doing an awesome giveaway!

Emily wrote a wonderful post on Contentment!

Ivy wrote such an amazing and true post on writing romance!

Hosanna wrote a challenging post on not being self-seeking!

Hannah wrote a beautiful post on what the point of beauty is!

WRITING.

Total word count: 1,356

This is not very good...;)...but I tried! Lol. I'm enjoying working on it with no pressure though! Writing is fun. =)

COMING UP.

I have some very exciting events coming up!  We are leaving in late July to go see our grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends! We're making a big loop and seeing as many people as possible. I'm extremely excited because it's been forever since we've seen everybody and I just can't wait...we have way to much fun with our relatives. ;) Plus I love to travel to new places and old favorites and so this will be very fun. We won't talk about the long hours in the car though. Haha! It'll be fun though. =) We'll also pick up my older brother who's been overseas for the summer so it will be fun to be together again as well! So...I'll have many things to share with you when we get back. ;) I hope you have a wonderful July as well!!

~~~

What did you do this June? Do you have any exciting things you're doing in July?

6.25.2016

Motives

Happy Saturday! ;)

Today's post is on motives. This is something that I've struggled a lot with and is a hard topic to post on...especially since I'm still struggling with it...like right now. ;) But I'm going to jump in and talk about it although it's a very hard topic. Let's begin: 


Definition:

Motives are very important. They are defined as "a reason for doing something, especially one that is hidden or not obvious." 

Examples:

I always love personal examples in books and posts to make a point. I think it is super helpful. So...I'm going to share an excruciatingly embarrassing wrong motive that I had not to long ago. (and still battle with) I remember last school year I started using Duolingo for my Spanish that year. At first I really wanted to learn Spanish, but as the year went on I found myself practicing more not totally just to get better at Spanish, but to get more XP(if you've done Duolingo you know what I mean;) and thus be better than others because I was doing more than they were. Actually I ashamedly say that I half didn't want to stop when the summer came just because then they would get ahead of me. I know...I am quite prideful. ;/ Yes, this is embarrassing to share. ;D But the point is that my motive for doing more Spanish was wrong. Learning Spanish is a completely honorable thing to do, but I was doing it for the wrong reasons. I'll continue this next school year, but I'm going to be extremely careful that when I practice I'm not doing it to show off or be prideful of what I accomplished, but that I will work hard to learn it so that I honor Jesus and can use that skill for him...not so I can show off to my friends. 
~
So I want to really encourage you to check your motives before you join a soccer team, write a blog post, play an instrument, write a letter, go to an event...do anything! ;)  Ask yourself "Why am I doing this?" Am I doing it to honor Jesus and to love and serve others or am I doing it so I am put in a higher place...so I look better or Jesus looks better?"

I hope this post encouraged and challenged you to think more about your motives! In writing this I've thought of a few things I need to "check out" in the area of motives. *embarrassed grin* ;)

See you on Friday for my "June Wrap Up" post! How can it be almost July already??? Yikes! =D It's getting so exciting for many reasons! ;)


 

6.18.2016

WINNER of "Beauty Begins"!

Hello again! 

Rafflecopter has randomly picked a winner and I am announcing it on this post!

****drum roll please****

The winner is...

ASHLEY!!!

Ashley is the winner of the book "Beauty Begins" which I did a review for last Saturday. If you haven't checked out that post you can read it here! =)

Thank you to all who entered! Congratulations to Ashley!!!

Tag Bundle

Hello!
I am doing something a little different this Saturday. I'm going to do a Tag Bundle. I was tagged for the "It's Show Time Tag" and the "Text Tag" and so I'm going to catch up on all my tags and do them both today! =) Have fun! 



"It's Show Time Tag"

Thank you to Rebecca for tagging me! 

//Answer the questions
//Tag 3 to 5 people

1. Who's your favorite actor's?

I like Kirk Cameron and Steven and Alex Kendrick. =)

2. Who's your favorite actress's?

I'm not honestly sure! :D

3. What's your favorite animated movie?

Maybe Charlotte's Web...

4. Do you like to have a snack while you watch a movie? If so, what's your favorite?

I do enjoy eating and drinking something during a movie. Maybe eating chocolate or ice cream and a root bear float? ;) Lol.

5. What's your favorite genre?

Genre? Maybe...Christian. ;D

6. What's you're favorite TV shows?

Well, we don't actually have a TV, but I love to watch 19 Kids and Counting(or Counting On) and Bringing Up Bates on Youtube. 

7. What's your top favorite movie?

I love "Sound of Music" and any Kendrick brother movie...and "Ring the Bell". :) And I almost forgot "Anne of Green Gables"!!!!!! Also our own home movies, family reunion slideshows, and summer slideshows. =)

8. Are there any movies coming out soon you can't wait to see?

Not that I can think of! There are some books though. :D :D :D

9. What's your favorite sport based movie?

I love "Facing The Giants". It's a great movie!

10. What was the last movie you watched in the theaters?

Well, I've only been to one movie in a theater and that was "The Drop Box". It was an amazing movie! 

I tag...

Just answer the questions above and...have fun!! 

"The Text Tag"

Thank you Anika for tagging me!

//Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to them. 
//Answer the original 6 text-themed questions.
//Add a typography/word related question for those you tagged to answer.
//Tag 6+ bloggers and notify them that you tagged them.
//Include these rules in your post.

1. What is your favorite letter of the alphabet?

Hmmmm...hard question! ;) I like the letters h, t, and i...

2. What are three words that you love?

Radiant, beauty, and love. =)

3. What are three words that you hate?

Math, spinach, tragic. ;P

4. If you could create a word, what would it be, and what would it describe?

PRETTEMOUS.
1. an object or person who is very pretty

Ok. That doesn't really make sense, but...I don't want to be weird and not make up a word.

5. What are your three favorite punctuation marks?

, ! ~

6. What are your three favorite fonts?

Bromello, Modesty, and Octavia.

Anika's Question: Do you think Christian writers should only write Christian books? 


Yes, for the most part. But I don't think every book has to be Christian, but there must be nothing in it that would dishonor God!

My Question: What is your favorite quote? 

I tag...
kiley//ivy//savannah//bonnie//jesseca//+you!


6.14.2016

" The Pursuit of God" Book Review

Hello again to all my amazing readers! 
I'm here *again* with a book review. ;) This was an amazing book though so if you don't want to read the review at least log away the title. ;D Anyway, I think I'll have one more book review sometime in the next few weeks and then a break...so enjoy! 

The Pursuit of God is an inspirational book that aims to guide those who wish to follow Christ. It includes biblical teachings that emphasize the concept of pursuing God. The concept of seeking God should be evident in the context of obtaining a genuine relationship between the Creator and the creature. Man must consider God as not only a creator , but the one who sustains life; hence, all creatures must depend solely on Him.

The Pursuit of God is a life changing book! Each chapter was absolutely packed with amazing principles. I love this quote from the book that says: "Everything is safe which we commit to Him, and nothing is really safe which is not so committed.” There were so many truths like this packed into this book. It made me see how Jesus really is everything. We don't need people or stuff to be happy...we just need Him. He is our everything and if we deeply pursue Him we will gain everything even if we have nothing. I was deeply encouraged in my walk with God through reading this book and I'm sure you will be too!

"I received this book from Moody Publishers for this review."


6.11.2016

Blog Recommendations+Giveaway

Happy June 11th!!! ;)
I'm here with a blog recommendations post. I follow some incredibly awesome blogs and would love to share with you the ones that I love! The blogs are not in the order that I like them so if your blog is at the bottom that's not because I like it the least. ;) And did you see I'm hosting a giveaway?? Yep, that's right! The details are at the bottom of this page. Enjoy!




This beautiful blog is written by a close friend of mine, Hosanna! She is a published author and writes a variety of posts including christian living and writing posts. Check out her book too...it is great!! 


This is another amazing blog written by another close friend of mine, Emily! She shares poetry, christian living posts, and photography as well as much more. She also has a blog specifically for her writing, Writing For Our King


Katie Grace's blog is awesome as well. :) Her blog is very professional and her style is great. She writes a lot about writing and also some about blogging. As well as her beautiful-super-random type posts. =)


Ah!! I don't know why I love this blog so much, but I do. <3 Ivie Rose has an amazing blog about writing and life. She is almost to get her first book published and so that is very exciting as well! It looks like an amazing book too. :) She has a goal to get 20 followers this month so go check out her blog and follow it. ;) 


Abi's blog is wonderful as well! Her writing style is beautiful and I enjoy reading her posts. She shares about writing, books, and life. 


Jessica's blog is another of my favorites! Her blog design is gorgeous and she writes posts about her life and living the christian life. I am a new follower to her blog so I don't know a ton of what she posts on, but it all looks great so check it out! ;)


Alea's blog is so great too! I love her name, her blog design, and what she writes about.  Her posts are very interesting and fun to read. =) She writes mostly about writing and books, but also other things.


This blog is so gorgeous!! Princess Hannah is beautiful and overflowing with love for Jesus. She writes posts you can easily relate to and are fun to read. 



Girl Defined is an awesome girls blog! The two sisters, Bethany and Kristen, share openly about topics relevant to girls of all ages. I have been encouraged by their posts and I'm guessing you will be too! 


And last, but certainly not least is Amanda's blog which is awesome! She writes deep, relatable posts about living for Jesus and things teens deal with. I've sometimes been surprised at how similar we think about certain topics. ;) 


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So these are all blogs I love to read!!! I hope you'll check them out and start reading them if you like them. :) And there are definitely more amazing blogs so if your blog is not on here don't feel bad. =) 

Now...for the giveaway! 



a Rafflecopter giveaway

I am so sorry, but I am not able to ship out of the United States. Sorry for those who don't live in the US!! =(



When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Others may tell you that you’re beautiful, but do you believe them? Why not? Don’t let another day go by without believing and knowing that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.  
It’s time for you to exchange society’s cookie-cutter suggestions for what is beautiful and instead discover and reclaim what true beauty looks like – and the One who created it. 
In Beauty Begins, Chris and Megan Shook share with you their own experiences and struggles with appearance and body image, as well as equip you with the wisdom to distinguish what’s artificial beauty and what’s real. Filled with heartfelt encouragement, insightful challenges, and undeniable truth, after reading Beauty Begins, you’ll never look in the mirror the same way again. 

Beauty Begins is an amazing book that I got! It was such a encouragement to me and helped me to see how beauty in this world is distorted and we have to get back to God's design for beauty. It really impacted my life and made a lot of my insecurities fade as I see how the worlds definition of beauty is so different than Gods'. I highly recommend this book so please read it! ;) 

Have fun!!! See you on Tuesday for another book review. ;) 

//Hannah

6.07.2016

"Live Smart" Book Review

I'm here on this Tuesday morning with another book review! ;) 
For the next couple Tuesdays I'll be having book reviews for all the free books I get. I won't feel the least bad if you don't read them so don't feel obligated. ;) I just have to post it as part of getting free books. =) But anyway...enjoy!




A Guide to Living Wisely While You're Young 
As a professor and youth director, author Dan Dumas has seen that young people have high expectations for themselves. They want their lives to matter, and there's no reason our expectations for them should be any different. 
This book presents practical tools and biblical advice to middle school and high school-aged readers so they can make the most of their youth. It covers everything from making the right friendships to how to think about education and how to invest in their relationships with God. The habits a person forms when they're young can last a lifetime--now's the time to make it count. 

Live Smart was a good book! It was easy to read and had a lot of good things to think about like submitting to authorities, working hard, stepping out of your comfort zone, etc. I would rate it 4 stars just because I thought it was sometimes a bit elementary, but overall it was still a great book! I would recommend it to anyone 6-25. =) 

"I got this book from Bethany House Publishers for this review"








6.04.2016

Photography Tips

Welcome back on this first Saturday of June! 
I'm here with a photography post today. For all of you photographers I hope this will help you become a better photographer! These tips and descriptions have helped me a lot so I wanted to share them. I took a photography class through a friend of ours and so a lot of these tips come from what she said. And she is a very good photographer. =) Oh! And if you're not interested in photography at all don't feel obligated to read this post...it is pretty long and if you're not interested in photography it probably won't be very interesting. ;) But anyway, let's get started: 


Okay, so I was originally going to just explain all about exposure, shutter speed, and ISO. And then I found this super good website that tells about all that with really good pictures to show you. So instead I'll give some more basic tips and you can go click on this website to help you understand the other parts of photography better. ;)

Keep It Simple

Lol, you could have imagined me saying this, but it is so true and key in taking great photos! Simple pictures are the best. Not that there aren't plenty of beautiful pictures that are busy, but simple is eye catching. 

Use Leading Lines

This is a super fun part of photography that makes great photos. A leading line is any "line" that sort of leads to the subject or before a subject. That is not a great explanation, but a few photos will help show you. 



Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is also something fun that really improves photographs. Instead of just centering your subject it is much better to use the rule of thirds and make the subject a bit off centered. Here's an example:


Do you see how instead of centering the bee they made it a bit off centered which is very eye catching and enhances the photograph. There usually is a button on your camera that you can click to always have this graph on your screen. 

Centered Composition

Although the rule of thirds is important in photography there definitely is a place for centered composition. So don't just use the rule of thirds although that is a awesome way to take a photo. 

Perspective

Don't just stand in the same spot. Get up, move around, get low, get high, be awkward. Don't just take your photo straight on like you always do. You can get amazing shots laying on the ground, or up in a tree. ;) So have fun and play around with the viewpoint! Here's a photo I took where I was laying on the ground in the dirt in a super awkward position: ;D


Space

Space. This is super important especially in people photography. You want their to be space where a person is looking or where an animal or plant is pointing. When someone is running you don't want to capture them right as they're about to go out of the picture, but instead as soon as they come into your camera's viewpoint. This is what I mean by space. 

Mergers

Mergers are a bad thing. ;) Mergers are when theirs a tree coming from someones head or a branch coming out of someone ear. Not a good picture although it can be pretty funny...so be aware!  ;D

   See the horns coming out of the bear. LOL. 

Also don't cut off someone's foot in a photograph! ;) Here is a super helpful picture to show where it's okay to cut and where it's not okay. The red would be where it's not okay to cut and the green where it's fine. 



Lighting

Lighting is a super hard thing in photography and one I still have a lot to learn on. But I think one of the keys in getting good lighting in a photograph is have good lighting outside. If it is a cloudy day you're probably going to get sort of grey pictures. Play around with your ISO, aperture, and exposure, and see what you can do about it though! And watch for the best lighting and take then. 

Catchlights

Catchlights add a bit of sparkle to a person or animals eye. Here is an example: 


Do you see the sparkle? Without catchlights photos can seem dull and lifeless. So try to get these in your photographs of people and animals! 

Bokeh

Bokeh is another super fun thing to play around with. It is usually the blurring of lights. Here's an example: 


Tips For Photography:

1. Keep your camera accessible

If you don't have your camera ready and waiting, chances are you'll miss some great photography opportunities! Keep your camera ready on your desk, nightstand, anywhere super accessible. That way when the moment comes you can just turn your camera on and snap away. ;)

2. Read your camera manual

This is something I was taught to do and need to do for the new camera I got. So I'm yelling at myself more than anyone. :D But this will help you a ton I think...so go read that long camera manual. If you don't have yours just type in your camera's brand and model, add "manual" and you should be able to find it. No excuses to not read it! ;)

3. Study others photographs

Learning from others will help you a lot. Study their photos and copy things they do. 

4. Take it everywhere

Take your camera with you wherever you go! There are so many great opportunities outside of your house so don't hesitate to take it with you. 

5. Ask for feedback

Ask someone you know to critique your photography and ask them to give you advice on how you can improve. 

6. Look for good lighting

Look in your house and in your yard for those perfect lighting spots. Notice also what times of day give you the best lighting and choose to take photos then.

7. Take a class

There are many free photography classes online so don't hesitate to join one and learn all you can! 


8. Practice, Practice, Practice

There is absolutely no substitute for this. Learn from your mistakes and keep trying! Over time you should see progress. =)

Disclaimer:  Except for the lizard photo I did not take any of these photos. ;)

Anyway...this was a long post, but I hope you learned something and are excited to try new techniques for taking photos! 
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What photography techniques do you have? Are there any good tips I didn't mention? I would love to hear your comments below!