Florida Sunshine

Looking at these pictures makes me wish I could blink my eyes and be back in the Florida sunshine. I had the best of times in the Keys with my family and pal Ali. We lounged and swam and soaked up every but of vitamin D we could get. Now I just have to get through these last few months of school and summer will finally be here! Have a blessed weekend!

Week 1 in Turkey

We’ve only been in Turkey for one week and i’ve already lost track of how many cities we’ve been to. They sure know how to keep us college kids busy!  We’ve been visiting a lot of ruins and museums, filled with remnants of a time period that’s hard to comprehend. One of the sites we were at had still had impressions from Roman chariots in the cobble-stone streets. By far the most memorable thing I have seen is the church of St. Peter which is the first christian church. It was so amazing to be in the same place where the Apostle Paul preached. I’m so blessed to be traveling with 23 amazing Bethel kids that have a heart for the Lord. We’re staying busy to stay the least, and making lots of memories in the process. I’m missing my family, my puppy and America in general, but this experience has been amazing and one that I’ll never forget. We still have 12 days of exploring to do! XOXO


Hellooo from across the pond! I am so excited to finally be here. It has already been a whirlwind adventure! We spent the first 2 days is Istanbul visiting churches and museums, and then we hopped on a plane to Antakya (Antioch) which is where Christians were first called Christians– cool stuff! The Jet lag is slowly starting to fade and I’m starting to get accustomed to the strange Mediterranean food. This mid-western girl doesn’t depart much from the American norm when it comes to food! Thankfully today we found a burger king :) I feel so blessed to be on this adventure. Here are some of my first snapshots from Turkey! 

I conquered the squatty potty… 

The flight attendants really liked us… so they gave us champagne & wine?
 Hagia Sophia

Ali + Leeland

Ali and I have been friends since kindergarten. She is beautiful, inspiring and more like a sister than a friend. We also happen to share the same sense of humor, and peeing of the pants has become a regular occasion when we’re together.   She is the reason I started blogging, and someday we hope to collaborate on a blog together! Check out her wonderful site  here. I had the opportunity this week to take some photos of Ali and her dashing man, Lee! Hope you enjoy the sneak peek, and have a very happy New Year!

How to Enhance Your Holiday Photos

My Inspiration! 

I absolutely love taking pictures this time of year. It’s crazy to think only a year ago I put my big girl pants on and got a DSLR camera!  Best. Christmas. Present. Ever. If you don’t have one- go get one or put it on your Christmas list!  Don’t let the fancy dials and lenses scare you, you won’t regret this purchase!

Even if you just have a point-and-shoot camera, I think we all can agree that some added wow-factor in our Christmas photos would be awesome. One way you can do that is through Bokeh! (what the heck is Bokeh?) I’ll explain…

Bokeh (pronounced:  “boke-uh”) is the out of focus or blurry areas of a photograph. It reminds me of sparkly sequins, and I try to incorporate it into a photo whenever I can! Bokeh is obtained through aperture. (The depth of field that you see in pictures.) When the subject in a photo is in focus and the background is blurry, that means that there is a shallow depth of field. This happens by adjusting the aperture setting on your camera and it’s made even easier through certain lenses. The picture below was taken with myCanon 50mm f1.8. It’s my go-tolens, and you can snag it for around $100 bucks!

Here are the steps to take a picture with Bokeh:
(the darker the background the better)
1) Set your camera dial to Manual – “M” or “AP” (Aperture priority)
2) Adjust your aperture to the lowest setting. Mine goes down to 1.8
3) Crank up your ISO to 400 or more. (Skip this step if on AP)
4) Set your shutter speed to around 1/50- any slower and it will be too blurry
5) Turn Manual Focus on and put one object in front of a light source and focus (The vase is in front of a Christmas tree in the example)
6) Make sure to turn the flash off… and snap away! You should come up with something like this:

This is just one way to enhance your Holiday photos. Now go practice! Until next time…