The Ultimate Beginner’s Photography GIVEAWAY!

I wanted to share something really special with everyone today! It’s a GIVEAWAY!

Most of you know that I run a photography business, but what I want to know is, Have YOU ever had an interest in getting into Photography? Or maybe you want to up your photography game to help your blog or small business grow. Either way, this beginner photography giveaway is just the ticket for you, and I have luckily teamed up with some awesome ladies to be able to offer it to you! This package has roughly a value of $550 (or more, since I found some killer steals on what is included) so you definitely don’t want to miss it!!!

The Ultimate Beginners Photography Giveaway

Since this giveaway is all about helping you grow your photo-taking skills, Angie of My So-Called Chaos also asked each of the fantastic people participating in this giveaway to tell us what their favorite kind of photos to look at are. This should help you also hone in on what you want to take photos of while you are working on building your skill and technique. Angie prefers photos that are clear (not blurry or too dark), bright, and have some good color and crispness to them. Here’s what everyone else had to say:

What are your favorite photos to look at?

I enjoy real pictures – the kind that make you think ‘Cool… they are totally weird like I am’.” – Kimi from Kimi Who

“Oh gosh, that’s a really difficult question! I have no idea. Pretty ones?” – Anna from Anna in Wonderland (Note: Anna has quite a bit to say about what makes a good photo in her Grow Your Instagram course, which you should totally check out if you’re looking to grow interaction and followers on that social media platform.)

Pictures are worth a million words. I enjoy seeing peoples lives in a photos. It is fun to think about what they were doing, what life was like for them, and to just see them grow.” – Ashley from Simply Ashley Nicole

I love photos that show personality! I’m a college student and it’s nice seeing artsy photos (for your blog) but I love seeing photos with family, friends, etc!” – Kaci from Earth to Kace

Environmental Portraits / Photojournalism. I love photos that tell stories of how people interact with their environment.” – Esther from Local Adventurer

I love travel photos because they inspire me to visit new places!” – Olya from The Siberian American

Nature photos are my favorite simply because they are something gorgeous to look at.”Stella Kenton Body Shop

Old analogue pictures, especially black and white portraits.” – Caterina from Kate/idoscope

“I’m a bit of an Instagram junky and a fashion blogger, so I love looking at others’ well-composed fashion photos!” – Nicole from Violet and Vine

I love to see bright clean photos of peoples everyday lives. Getting to see a peak into someone everyday is always interesting to me.” – Amanda of Life with Grace

Fashion photos are my favorite photos to see because it inspires me to put my closet to use” – Jennifer of the Insta Boss eCourse

I love travel photos! It’s fun to see new places, as well as connect with others that are visiting locations I’ve been to.” – Leeann of Join the Gossip

I have to admit my first answer is animals – I adore cute animal pictures, but I also love seeing a glimpse into peoples lives and seeing what they are up to.” – Sarah from Life in a Breakdown

The Ultimate Beginner Photography Giveaway is Brought to You By These Lovely Bloggers

Cool food and drink shots, as well as vineyard and travel images.” – Mary from Vindulge

Projects/recipes to do with kids.” – Sarah from Twins and a Toddler

I love seeing travel photos. I am such a huge travel fan, and I’ve been to many countries but I always get inspired to continue traveling when I see others’ adventures!” – Casey from Lucy Loo Littles

“Children related photos and fashion.” – Brittany from The Ashmore’s Blog

I like photos that are vivid and full of color.” – Tish from The Veganista Foodie

I love photos of cool items layed out on a desk or on a nice background creatively, especially with planners and such.” – Lindsay of Paperclips and Pacis

I love any kind of photos as long as they are BRIGHT. I LOVE photos full of bright and happy colors!” – Kristen from The Road to Domestication

I love seeing photos of everyday life. Because everyday life is so beautiful!” – LaShawn from Everyday Eyecandy

I love candid photos of my family. It is very special to be able to capture a sweet moment between my children.” – Amanda from The Mint Design Company

I love travel photos! In the winter time, photos of tropical destinations help me keep the winter blues at bay.” – Mar from T.O. & Fro

We love all sorts of photos, but Disney photos are our favorites. :)” – Angela and Libby from Disney BFFs Blog

Pictures of kids, because they are hilarious and fun, and pictures of flowers because they make me happy!” – Candace from Luxe… With Kids

As a self-proclaimed foodie and maker, I love photos that inspire me to create. I also really love landscape and scenery. Nature is awesome!” – Jessica from Living La Vida Holoka

I love outdoor photos, mainly either animals to the beach. Those are my favorite things, so that’s what I love to see the most.” – Kathleen from Fearlessly Creative Mamas

Candid pictures of people living their day to day lives. I get to see a glimpse of a stranger’s life or at least guess it.” – Nana from Foreign Geek

My favorite kinds of photos are the ones taken in the middle of an adventure, and the photographer catches that moment of awe. Whether it’s an unbelievable sunset while hiking or someone’s reaction after they’ve tried something they’ve never done before. Photos like that inspire me to get outside and live a little; to escape technology and remember there’s a huge world out there waiting for me to experience.” – Julie from Mom Fabulous

Travel because I’ve been bitten by the travel bug for over 25 years now.” – Melody from Wherever I May Roam

I love photos of family dinners and coffee runs. It reminds of all the little things that happen before and after those near ‘perfect’ moments.” – Zobia from The Eternity Journal

My favorite photos to see are beautiful vacation and travel photos because I love to travel or photos of people running that show their passion for running and health.” – Jill from RunEatSnap

Awesome ones! lol” – Melissa and Deynece from Deux Bella

I love flatlays, especially beauty ones! I’m a beauty blogger and I love seeing what others have in their collections whether it’s something I also use, or something new that gives me ides for future purchases!” – Megan from The Megan Chronicles

I love food+drink photography, but especially photos of people with friends and family, laughing and enjoying each other’s company with food & drink. I love how food can bring people together!” – Marlynn from Urban Bliss Life

Adventure Photos.” – Tiara from Ice Cream and French Fries

I’m such a visual person that any kind of photo can draw me in. My favorites are the ones that imply there’s more going on than we’ll ever know—a secret glance, a watering eye, a mischievous grin, a desolate road, a steaming plate of food—it’s like getting a glimpse at someone’s soul.” – Heather from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen

I adore candid pictures of kids, especially with their moms. Motherhood is hard, but my favorite photos are the ones that remind us of why being a mom is worth it. The photos of our kids that show them laughing with us and loving each other? Perfect.” – Meg from Snap Happy Mom

Food pictures! I love to see how people cook.” – Gaila from Petit Gourmet

I love pics that show a story, that are artful, sweet, thought provoking and show the beauty of nature, love, friendship, kindness.” – Rocio from Your Sassy Self

I love to see family photos. Family is so important and even if you don’t think the pictures are great, they tell a story and I love to see those!” – Amanda from Green Tea and Cotton

I love natural photos that show a person’s real personality. Nothing overly staged or forced looking.” – Krystal from The Krystal Diaries

Something fun, colorful & inspiring.” – Linda from Brunch with Joy

Enter the Giveaway

This giveaway includes the following*:

  • Canon Rebel T5 DSLR Camera w/Lens
  • Canon Rebel T5 Supplies**
  • The Beginner’s Photography Guide
  • 2 Soft Box Lights
  • Enrollment into the Grow Your Instagram Mini Course

*Prize is subject to change based on availability.
**Supplies may/may not be what is pictured in the giveaway image due to availability.

This Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 1/12/16 at 12AM. Entering below confirms that you agree to all terms and conditions within the rafflecopter widget. Entries will be verified. Prizes sent via Amazon Prime for domestic winners (USA) or substitution of $500 cash & the Instagram Course given for international winners.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GOOD LUCK, EVERYONE! Because winning this sure would be a great way to wrap up 2015!

Due to the amount of comments from all of my wonderful readers, it is not always possible for me to respond to each one. However, I absolutely do read them all, and if you’d like to address something specific, or have a question for me, please don’t hesitate to email me at I will respond to your email as soon as possible! Thank you for visiting the blog!

Tips on How to Use Your Thanksgiving Leftovers – from Stubb’s BBQ! (GIVEAWAY INCLUDED!)

Well, hey, y’all! Are you still in a turkey-induced coma? Are you already out shopping those Black Friday sales? I hope you and your family and friends enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration!

Where will you find ME today? I’m home, folks! You could not pay me enough to be out there in the craziness, I’m sorry! I’m home taking down all my Fall decor and putting up Christmas. My house looks like Christmas vomited all over it, but it’s okay – it’ll be so pretty when I’m all done!

But you know what? Before I get all the way into Christmas, I’ve got to say: we have TONS of  Thanksgiving leftovers stacked in our refrigerator right now. And while I HATE to waste food, I also HATE eating the same thing over and over again. Are you with me?

So I’m thrilled that the fine folks at Subb’s BBQ have offered up some suggestions to help us use our leftovers…but in different ways every time!


I mean, THAT is what we SHOULD have done, right? We totally should have barbecued our turkey! I will need to remember that for next year…

How about we start out with a new twist to an old favorite: Turkey Pot Pie

Turkey Pot Pie

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Stubb’s Review & GIVEAWAY!

**PLEASE NOTE: While Stubb’s DID provide me with this product to review at no cost, I was not in any way paid for my review. The following opinion is hereby my own.**

If you’ve been around the blog any length of time, you know that I’m a big fan of all the Stubb’s BBQ products! I love that they’re not only gluten-free, and also free of artificial preservatives and colors, but they’re also SO simple to use! And the end result?! I’ve yet to meet anyone who hasn’t liked what I’ve created with Stubb’s products!

Since October is National Chili Month, it made perfect sense for me to try their Chili Fixins out! All I needed was two ingredients of my own, and their lovely bag of “Cooking Sauces”. (Oh! Let’s not forget that you can also get BBQ Slider, Hatch Chile and Smokehouse Bourbon Cookin’ Sauces, but this time I was after the Chili Fixins Cooking Sauce.)


I love that you can make this in a skillet or in the Crock Pot! While I don’t mind making things in a skillet at all, on this particular day, we had spent the morning at church, I had just enough time to grab some lunch and change my clothes (and prep dinner) before I headed to a photo shoot that would consume the afternoon, and we had a house guest! I knew I needed the Crock Pot this time around, for sure. 

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Help Support Your Immune System With Probiotics from Dr. Mercola! (GIVEAWAY INCLUDED!)

**PLEASE NOTE: While Mercola DID provide me with these products to review at no cost, I was not in any way paid for my review. The following opinion is hereby my own.**

Earlier in the year, I had a much-dreaded visit to the dentist. And then the endodontist after that. You know how THAT goes.

Apparently, two of my very old root canals had gone bad, and I had to have them redone! What on earth?! I had no idea that could even happen! I was none too pleased, either! 

The process was not too fun at all, and included several round of some pretty heavy antibiotics. This I did NOT like, for two reasons:

1. I have two autoimmune disorders, and, although antibiotics aren’t great for anyone, they’re REALLY BAD for people with autoimmune disorders! ACK! 

2. I used to get a good probiotic from my mom, but my parents have recently retired to the North Georgia mountains, 9 hours away from me! I had no idea where to start when looking for a probiotic on my own! And I KNEW I would need a powerful one after all of those antibiotics!

Enter the lovely Joan from Mercola, who shot me an email to see if I’d like to review Dr. Mercola’s probiotics! Impeccable timing, that Joan! Of course, I was excited to test them out!


Now, let me stop right here and say: I AM NOT A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL. Don’t you go acting like this blog post is medical advice and that I’m the authority on this. I’M TOTALLY NOT! But, I DO know my body very well, and I DO know how it functions when it’s being hit with antibiotics, and how it feels while it’s being restored with probiotics. My own experience is what this post is based on!

Mercola shipped me a lovely box which held the following:

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The 2015 Valentine’s Day Holiday Shelf! (And a PERSONALIZED Giveaway!)

Okay, don’t kill me for posting about Valentine’s Day already, but I can’t help it! The Christmas decorations are down, and what’s there to decorate for next that can stay up for a while but Valentine’s Day!

I wanted to do the shelf really simple this year. Maybe it’s the fact that the Christmas shelf was borderline gaudy…I’m not sure. But I knew I wanted simple and GIRLY. I don’t get the chance to do much girly around these parts, so I wanted to express myself on this one!

Oh, if you want to see last year’s Valentine’s Day Shelf, CLICK HERE!

And now, here’s the 2015 Valentine’s Day Holiday Shelf:


Fairly simple, right? I mean, look how much “white space” I left!

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