April 30, 2015

SETTING GOALS & HAVING FAITH

Something I've learned over time is that I do my best when I stay focused on Jesus. When I decide to dream a big dream and have faith in something that feels impossible it's easy to let doubt creep in and knock me down. Last year I started praying about Tyler's career. We had talked a lot about where he might go next in his career and near the beginning of 2014 I started to pray for where I believed we would be going. I believed we would be going to Connecticut and that Tyler would be working at Blue Sky. 

This dream felt impossible. I had no idea how it would happen or when it would happen, but I knew that I would be praying for it until it happened and I refused to give up. There were  times where I wondered if I was wrong, there were times that I felt like a fool. It was during those times that I clung to Jesus the tightest. That dream was like a fire that burned inside me, it wouldn't die out, so I continued to pray.
That journey of prayer taught me so much. It has taught me more then I could ever put into words. But one thing I do know is that if I believe in something and if I believe Jesus is capable of anything, then I can present those requests to Him and I can pray and pray that He sees them through.
Each of our journeys are shaped in different ways. But I think we're always given opportunities to step out in faith. I believe we're always given opportunities to believe in the impossible and sometimes we need a little help to get there. We weren't meant to tackle our dreams alone, we were made to live in community together, we were made to walk through these dreams together.

RESOURCES TO HELP YOU TACKLE YOUR DREAMS

COMMUNITY : One of the greatest things about our journey and the many prayers I have prayed has been friends praying along side of me. I shared with friends our dreams that they came along side us and prayed for us. And when things started unfolding I called them and shared with them in our excitement. They were right there with us and I continue to share with them the new dreams I have. 

THE CIRCLE MAKER : Reading The Circle Maker changed the way I prayed. It helped me believe in impossible dreams. It helped me work past the doubt and simply trust in Jesus.

SHE READS TRUTH : Every morning I start my day with my Bible. She Reads Truth has been a wonderful resource for me in tackling scripture every day. And it's through this time that my faith in strengthened and I'm able to keep dreaming new dreams.

FAITH JOURNEY WORKBOOK : Since starting The Circle Maker I have continued to work through new dreams and spending time daily praying about those dreams. This Faith Journey Workbook, helps you start at the beginning and walks you through ways to connect with Jesus. It helps you outline your dreams while providing multiple opportunities to journal your progress.
My prayer journey has taught me that I am stronger then I ever thought I was. It's a strength that I have found in Jesus. It's faith in believing in the impossible. xo. Samantha

April 29, 2015

THE BENEFITS OF THE MAGIC HOUR {THE LENS REVOLUTION}

The magic hour or the golden hour is one of my favorite times to shoot in. When I first started shooting I spent hours and hours pouring over beautiful photos from different photographers from all over the place. I studied their work, sent emails, asked questions and soaked up as much knowledge as I could. There were two photographers that were especially kind that I asked numerous questions too. It was through all my questions and all my studying that my photography began to take shape.

Over time, the more shoots I did, the better I became at reading the light and the more I shot during the magic hour. The magic hour takes place about an hour after sunrise and about an hour before sunset. The light during this time is soft, unlike light the occurs during mid day which is direct.

THE BENEFITS OF THE MAGIC HOUR

1.) SOFTER LIGHT : The light is soft and golden. It's diffused and great at making the skin look lovely.

2.) LESS CONTRAST : Because the light is softer, it is less harsh and there is less contrast, making it easy to light your subject. During mid-day when the sun is high the contrast is high as well, leaving harsh shadows and making it difficult to light your subject.

3.) WARMER LIGHT : The light during the magic hour is warm and glowing.  It's not too bright and it warms up a subject's skin tone.

4.) MORE WAYS TO LIGHT : Because the light is soft and warm it provides an opportunity to light your subject in multiple ways. You can shoot your subject with the sun directly facing them, you can shoot them with back lighting and you can shoot them with side lighting.

5.) IT'S MAGICAL : It's simply beautiful and magical. It's as though all the obstacles of lighting fall away and your left with perfect glowing light.


WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR :

Look out for clouds when trying to shoot during the magic hour. Tyler and I went out to snap a few photos of him during the magic hour, but we lost a lot of warm and dimensional light because the clouds were blocking out the sun. This didn't ruin our photos, we still had great photos, but they didn't have the same "magical" feeling that they would have had if the clouds had cleared.

Give yourself plenty of time. The sun can be gone before you know it, so make sure to give yourself plenty of time when shooting in the magic hour. Also consider taking your tripod. As the sun begins to set your tripod will come in handy if your wanting longer exposures.
Spend this week shooting during the magic hour. We're good into Spring and Summer is approaching which means the magic hour is falling late in the day. Grab a friend, take some photos, and have fun!


Now we're on to this week's LENS REVOLUTION SHOWCASE, and I can't wait to see what you all came up with for this week's CREATING DEPTH challenge. This is an opportunity to share you work with other and find encouragement along the way. Stop by and check out others work and learn from them as well. The great thing about community is that we all have something different to offer.




Have any photography questions? Send them my way. xo. Samantha

April 28, 2015

HOW FITNESS CHANGED MY THINKING

When I first started working out on a regular basis it was tough. There were some workouts that felt a little impossible. But I kept going and waiting for my body to condition. I knew that even if the workouts were hard, I knew that they were good for me and that the longer I stayed at it, the more conditioned I would became. I wasn't always interested in doing the workouts for myself and it was during those workout that I had to take the focus of myself.  During those hard workouts, I focused on Jesus, because if I wasn't willing to do the workout our for me, I knew I was willing to do it for Jesus.

"Getting back on track and getting out of my head." 

During our move I wasn't able to workout on a regular basis. I got off schedule and missed lots of workouts. I always keep track of where I'm at in my journey and I went a solid 2 and half months without working out on a regular basis. Whew, getting back on track was rough.

A part of getting back on track meant getting out of my head. I was spending too much time thinking about how I couldn't do it the same anymore or how I had lost conditioning. But one night as I was working out, it finally clicked and I was able to get out of the way of my body. I remembered, my body was fully capable of the workout I was trying to complete, I simply had to breath and let my body do the rest.  I quit thinking about whether or not I could do the workout and decided that my body already knew how. My body was already strong and I simply had to let it do the work.
Having that moment click, where I finally believed my body could do it, changed the way I thought about myself. I often question my abilities; whether I'm capable, smart enough, or strong enough. But believing my body could achieve something simply because I knew could, helped me believe the same thing about myself. I'm capable of achieving something, simply because I believe in myself. xo. Samantha

April 27, 2015

HEALTHY NO-BAKE ENERGY BARS

Finding healthy snacks has become one of my favorite things. It's probably because I really like to eat and I really like food. I like creating and finding healthy snacks that are fun and super yummy that I can share with you. I'm often thinking about snacks that we can have with us while on the go. We love getting outside during the warmer months and I've been wanting to find healthy snacks to go along with our outdoor adventures. When I saw Amy make these and I knew I had to try them too.
HEALTHY NO-BAKE ENERGY BARS

INGREDIENTS : 
1 1/4 cups Old Fashioned Oats
3/4 cup of chopped almonds
2/3 cup Toasted Coconut Flakes
3/4 cup Peanut Butter
1/3 cup Honey
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate

METHOD : In a medium size bowl mix together all ingredients. Chill in refrigerator for one hour. Once chilled form into small bars, wrap in plastic wrap and return to refrigerator. If your mixture is too dry add a bit more peanut butter and honey.
One thing that I really love about these bars is that they kind of remind me of Cliff Bars, which we love to take with us on hikes. These bars are going to be perfect for a lovely afternoon adventure. xo. Samantha


April 24, 2015

5 THINGS

1.) We've been on the hunt for a good deli place. We found a place we loved in Burbank, but we haven't found a favorite here, yet. We'll get there.

2.) We went over to a friends house to do some projects and I got to help hang some dry-wall. First timer!

3.) I started this week with a slow rainy Monday. It's been nice having so many rainy days. My favorite are when the day starts out with sunshine and then ends with rain.

4.) I shared a sneak peak of next month's TriStyle challenge! I can't wait!

5.) Ah! Happy Mail came this week and it was so exciting!

LINK LOVE

Oh, goodness, I want to make these
Mother's Day shopping made easy.
This top for all the days.
More margin and more balance.
Farewells and new adventures. 
How cute is this?

How was your week, friends?

April 23, 2015

TOP 5 HEALTHY POST WORKOUT SNACKS

Healthy post workout snacks, 150 calorie snacks
Snacking is a pretty big deal in my world. I'm one of those people who needs to be constantly eating or I get the grumpies, so finding good healthy snacks is important. Recently, I've also been trying to incorporate healthy post workout snacks. I  knew post workout snacks were important, but I needed a blue print, and then I found this and was on my way.

GETTING HEALTHY WITH HEALTHY SNACKS

I've been trying to learn what healthy snacks are my favorite and how many calories are actually needed post workout. Tyler and I workout in the evening, a few hours after dinner, right before we go to bed. We don't want to consume a bunch of calories right before bed, but we do need a little something to rebuild our muscles.  Most post workout snacks range between 150 - 200 calories. The one's I have found that I really like and eat are in the 150 range. Most of our workouts are pretty intense (P90X3), some more then others. For the most part and I can tell when I need a post workout snack and when I don't. When choosing a post workout snack keep in mind that you want to have both protein and healthy carbs.
Healthy post workout snacks, 150 calorie snacks
5 HEALTHY POST WORKOUT SNACKS

1.) LOW FAT COTTAGE CHEESE & A CUTIE :
This is probably one of my favorite snacks. It's filling and easy to grab from the fridge. Keep in mind when serving your cottage cheese to know how many calories your serving. A cutie has 40 calories, while a cup of cottage cheese has about 170 calories. Based on that you want about half a cup of cottage cheese.
Healthy post workout snacks, 150 calorie snacks
2.) ONE EXTRA SMALL APPLE AND PEANUT BUTTER :
I could eat this snack any time of day and that's what's so great about it. Tyler and I usually share an apple and dap a little peanut butter on each slice. While the peanut butter is high in protein it also has a good amount of calories. It's easy for me to go overboard with the peanut butter, keep that in mind while you're snacking.
Healthy post workout snacks, 150 calorie snacks
3.) BABY CARROTS AND HUMMUS :
Oh goodness, another amazing snack that can be eaten any time of day. This snack can be rather filling because you can have a lot of carrots. Baby carrots are about 4 calories each. Hummus is 70 calories per two tablespoons. I prefer a little extra hummus so I would go with about 15 baby carrots.
Healthy post workout snacks, 150 calorie snacks
4.) ONE BANANA AND A FEW ALMONDS :
A regular size banana is about 100 calories and while almonds are extra good they have a high calorie count. A quarter cup of almonds is 166 calories. If you are trying to stick to 150 calorie snack you only need a few almonds to get there.
Healthy post workout snacks, 150 calorie snacks
5.) ONE HARD BOILED EGG, HALF WHOLE GRAIN TOAST W/ PEANUT BUTTER :
Hard boiled eggs are actually my go to when I need protein. Eggs provide a solid source of protein with out having to do to much work. A hard boiled egg is about 80 calories, half whole grain bread is about 35 calories and a tablespoon of peanut butter is about 90 calories. This snack averages about 200 calories vs 150 calories, but it's still a favorite.
Healthy post workout snacks, 150 calorie snacks
Healthy post workout snacks, 150 calorie snacks
There you have it, 5 healthy post workout snacks. It hasn't always been my favorite thing to count calories, but I am learning that if I take the time to simply understand the calories that I'm taking in, then I can better understand how to take care of my body and build lean strong muscles. What are some of your favorite post workout snacks? xo. Samantha

April 22, 2015

CREATING DEPTH IN YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY {THE LENS REVOLUTION}

Add depth in photos, how to create depth in photos, depth photography
Sometimes we can create depth in our photos and not even know it. Other times we look through our view finder and wonder why we can't figure it out and why our photos look so flat. Creating depth in our photography can add dimension and create amazing appeal. It can enhance the story we're telling and draw the eye in.

A few months ago Tyler and I were out on a style shoot. We were trying a new location and snapped a few photos. After looking at the photos I noticed they had no depth. They felt lifeless and for me, a little visually uncomfortable
Add depth in photos, how to create depth in photos, depth photography
INCLUDE FOREGROUND :
Adding foreground to your photos is a great place to get started when trying to create more depth in your images. Foreground is the view that is nearest to you. When taking photos think about where your subject is located. Can you move your subject or can you reposition yourself to add an object to the foreground? This added foreground will help create interest in  your photos.

Add depth in photos, how to create depth in photos, depth photography
Add depth in photos, how to create depth in photos, depth photography
Add depth in photos, how to create depth in photos, depth photography
SHOOT IN PORTRAIT :
When  you shoot in portrait your able to create more depth simply because you are able to get more in frame, especially when shooting outdoors. If I were to have shot this landscape I may have cut out those mountains in the background, losing depth in my photo. When your out, practice taking a photo of each. Take a photo in landscape and take a photo in portrait. Look at the difference in the two and see the differences in depth.


Add depth in photos, how to create depth in photos, depth photography
USE LEADING LINES :
Leading lines are a form of composition but they can also had depth to your photos. Leading lines give you a sense of space, of how far an item might be from you. Leading lines allow you to feel the different spacial dimension in your photo and draws your eye in.

Add depth in photos, how to create depth in photos, depth photography
LOOK FOR OVERLAPPING :
Or layering. There is overlapping and layered objects in our view all the time. When composing your photos look around you. Look for things that are overlapping or have multiple layers. Overlapping creates a sense of distance.

Add depth in photos, how to create depth in photos, depth photography
Creating depth in your photos will create interests, add dimension and draw the eye. And it can also be so fun!


Now we're on to this week's LENS REVOLUTION SHOWCASE, and I can't wait to see what you all came up with for this week's COMPOSITION challenge. This is an opportunity to share you work with other and find encouragement along the way. Stop by and check out others work and learn from them as well. The great thing about community is that we all have something different to offer.




Have any photography questions? Send them my way. xo. Samantha
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