Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Blogger Spotlight: Elizabeth at Brokenness Aside

It's time for another edition of Blogger Spotlight! The purpose of this feature is to help bloggers get to know each other and to hear a little bit about what happens behind the scenes of each blogger's blog. The first person that was "spotlighted" was H.M. Wilson over at Plottinger Twist, and I think it went over pretty well. Since that was a success, I'm happy to bring you Elizabeth from Brokenness Aside. I've been following this blog from the beginning, and I always find her posts so insightful. Hope you enjoy getting to hear from her today!

Where do you blog and what is your blog about?
I blog over at Brokenness Aside and my blog is simply my life journey. I like to blog about different situations and what I'm learning in every circumstance and season of life. 

What got you started with blogging?
I got into blogging back when I was probably eleven or twelve. I had a random blog that I co-wrote on with two other friends. It was utter madness; I try to go back and read some old posts sometimes, but it's so embarrassing that I end up slamming my laptop and moving on with life. None the less, that blogging experience made me realize how much fun it can be to express yourself using this outlet.

What is your motivation to blog?
My motivation to blog is that it gives me a chance to share some things that I'm learning in life. I think it's a great opportunity to teach others instead of keeping all of the life lessons that I'm learning stocked up in my mind. The idea that maybe someone will learn a thing or two that they feel they can apply to their own lives from my blog inspires me to keep writing. Of course I hope that when people read my blog they'll be entertained, but that's definitely not my main pull to write.

What is your biggest challenge or fear when it comes to blogging and how do you overcome it?
A challenge for me when I'm blogging is just having the motivation to keep writing, and knowing that it's okay to write about things that aren't always positive. Sometimes I can get so overwhelmed with day to day life and I think that I can't write about what's going on. I feel that society advocates so much for world peace or everyone being happy all the time. I end up thinking that the fact that I'm unhappy is almost frowned upon, therefore I shouldn't post about it online. The way that I overcome that is just remembering that my blog is my platform and I have the ability to write about whatever I want!

What is your biggest reward from blogging?
My biggest reward from blogging is when friends of mine tell me that what I've been writing about has really encouraged them or taught them something. I think it's so cool that little ol' me has the power to impact a life in some way!!

And to end the interview off on a fun note, what is one random or interesting fact about yourself?
A random fact about me is that I am so indecisive! For example, it takes me forever to decide what to get at a restaurant and then I'll decide that I want to try something new, but I'm so indecisive that I end up getting what I normally get instead. Also, I'm so indecisive that I'm trying to decide if I should keep this random fact or write a different one...

Thank you so much Elizabeth! Your honest approach to blogging is inspiring. If you haven't checked out Brokenness Aside, do it pronto!

If you'd like to be involved in this feature and be interviewed, please leave me a comment or shoot me an email ( At this point, I don't have any particular requirements, so everyone is welcome to take part. Let me know in the comments what you think of the newest installment, and if you have any questions for Elizabeth!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

My Experiences with Google Keep (or I'm shamelessly in love with checklists)

By now most of us are back in school and that means back to a crazy schedule. I'm an English major, so I know all about how school can flood your schedule *cough* endless reading *cough*. I've definitely seen the repercussions of that as the blog-o-sphere seems to have been slowing down over the past few weeks. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming to do everything that needs to be done and still find time to blog. Today I wanted to share how I (attempt to) stay on track with Google Keep

I thought I was pretty familiar with all the bits of Google (docs, gmail, obviously blogger), so I was shocked when my boss at work mentioned Google Keep, something I'd never heard of. After getting over my initial ignorance, I quickly made this free (!!!), checklist/note keeping app part of my life. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas: Let's Talk about Symbolism

Earlier this week I wrote about the Point of View switches in Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas, and since I got carried away with that topic, I wanted to discuss my other thought about this book in a separate post. It might be a bit excessive to discuss this book in two posts, but whatever, my blog my rules, tehe. Anyways, I highly recommend you check my other post out to get my full feelings on the book, but in short, I really enjoyed this book (even if I have some issues). In my opinion the series has only gotten better; some people don't like where the story went, but I'm not one of them!

As in my last post, this discussion doesn't contain spoilers (only minor spoilers from previous books), so you don't have to worry if you haven't read QoS. At least I don't consider them major plot spoilers. You might find the discussion a very minor spoiler, but it builds on stuff that's happened in previous books.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas: Let's Talk about POV

A few days ago I finished reading Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas which is the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series. This was a highly anticipated book by both myself and a ton of other book-bloggers. I even had the release date written on my calendar (#booknerd). In short, I enjoyed the book. It was witty and also had serious moments. I liked the plot and sped through it pretty fast (considering that it's 648 pages long!). It was nice to settle into a fantasy book and get comfortable.

However, there are some elements of the book that I wanted to discuss. These two literary features aren't necessarily specific to QoS, but I wanted to use my recent reading experience as a basis for this two part discussion. So if you haven't read QoS yet, don't worry, there will be no spoilers (although there will be minor spoilers from the previous books) and the discussion won't hinge entirely on knowing the plot.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Reading Recap: Summer 2015

I manage to enjoy personal books all year around, but summer comes I get to read with reckless abandon with no thoughts of "required reading" in my mind. For me summer is from the beginning of May until the end of August; lots of good reading time! Since it's the end of summer *SOB*, I wanted to spend a blog post reflecting on what I got around to reading. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Sunny Smith's Guide to Understanding Your Camera: Shutter Speed

It's time for another edition of Understanding Your Camera!

For a long time I've wanted to help other bloggers understand their cameras better. I see so many people struggling to get the photos they want for their blog, so this series is my attempt to help. Over the series I am going to be breaking down each part of the camera that you can manipulate to get the photos you want! Some of the different sections that we will look at are aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and white balance. Today we're going to look at shutter speed.

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