March 24, 2014

Camera Bag Review

Once I received a DSLR for my birthday, I was on a serious hunt for a camera bag. I was going on a trip in about a week, and I needed to have a protective case for my camera-- something fashionable, made of quality material and affordable. Those three qualities were must-haves for me. I searched Ebay, Etsy, and Amazon a million times over, but I either found something that was fashionable and affordable (i.e. ships from China) or fashionable and made of quality material (costing $100+), but never all three... until I stumbled upon Aerystar. To be honest, I don't even remember how I discovered the brand, but when I did, I was instantly in love. The camera bags had a unique look to them and were the exact style I was looking for-- messenger style with room for extra storage. The hard part then became deciding which color/style to get. I ended up going for the SETO Camera Bag. Green is my favorite color, and I love the neutral accent color on the face of it that would allow it to easily pair with various outfits.

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Although the bags are upwards of $100 on the brand's website and various other websites, I was able to snag the same bag for less than $30 on Amazon. Score!! I really love this camera bag. It is made of a thick canvas material (think a pair of slip-on Vans) and there is a good amount of storage in and around the bag.

If you are on the hunt for a stylish and superior DSLR camera bag and you just don't have the money for Kelly Moore or Jo Totes, then consider purchasing an Aerystar messenger bag  from Amazon.

P.S. Gosh, this post sounds sponsored, but trust me-- it's not. Just giving my honest opinion about something I did a ton of research on, purchased and genuinely love.

P.P.S. Beau thought I was a complete dork having a photo shoot with my camera bag.

March 21, 2014

Love and Marriage

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Life with Beau on this side of marriage (i.e. after the first year) gets increasingly sweet. Not because of some secret formula, but because of the love we have for one another and the effort to not only have an eros love, but to love like Christ loves us-- agape love. It is something I see Beau doing every single day (and he's really good at it too) and it's something I strive for to the best of my abilities. I admit that it is a bit difficult for me because I am selfish. Marriage taught me that. No seriously. As I listen to myself complain talk about all the things that are wrong, I realize that I worry about myself a lot. Like, a lot a lot.  But seeing how Beau steadily focuses on having his horizontal relationship correspond with his vertical one, I too would like to love like him.

And yes, there are days when we drive each other mad. Like, up the the wall crazy. Days where I don't feel like talking to him, and he's confused as to why we are not speaking. There are days when he annoys me and I frustrate him. We have those days.

But sometimes, in that same breath, we laugh hysterically at each others craziness and fall in love all over again... love on top of the love that was already there.

Because, marriage. 

March 13, 2014

Repeated Lessons

Hebrews 13_5Ever felt like life was trying to teach you a lesson? But you weren't quite getting it, so you kept getting hit with the same circumstance over and over again until you not only realize that you are indeed facing the same thing repeatedly, but you also ponder why on earth can't I get past this? Yea. That.

That is how I truly feel being unemployed. I get interviews. I progress to the next step. Then, the letdown. the sadness. the frustration. the self pity. the question: where are you God in all of this?

It took me a while to get here, but I've finally made it. And now I just wait. I wait on the Lord because I've come to the realization that He is my help. He is my provider. He created me and knew me from conception and if He is such an all-knowing God, He must know what my heart desires. I've got that part down. It's the patience and faith part that I am still working on.

I compare myself-- ourselves, Beau and I-- to other young married couples a lot (mostly bloggers, because honestly, I don't have a community of other young married couples here with me to compare ourselves to). But I compare us to them alot. Mostly in the sense that they have this nice thing, they have that nice thing, they get to go here, do this, do that... I compare us to them a lot and I often wonder, why don't we have this? The answer came to me while having my devotion one morning last week. The Lord lead me to read Hebrews 13:5 which states "Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." What  a comforting promise and a stern reminder to stop the comparison game. I admit, it is something I do so often. Not just because I'm a nutcase and I like to compare myself to people that I don't know, but because I desire so much. I have such hopes and dreams for our home... for starting my career and working at a place that I love... and even more so, starting our family with a little bebe. I have. such. hope.

But there is obviously some lesson I am just not grasping during this waiting season. Maybe it's not having enough faith. Maybe it's being content with what I have. Whatever it is, I felt I got a little reminder when I read through Hebrews again for the umpteenth time since this waiting season began. Having faith and contentment is what stood out to me most when reading it this time around and I truly believe this is my repeated life lesson. When will I finally pass?

March 3, 2014

Date Night: Crabby Cafe

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Earlier in February, Beau and I tried a crawfish boil restaurant. And by "we", I kinda mean he.... because I ordered wings. Typical of me, if you know me pretty well. I am often very hesitant to try new things. Although I am more than willing to have a taste if I'm curious enough (or you pressure me enough).

We found the restaurant through Groupon, as we normally do. Since we started dating, we've tried many restaurants in and around Philadelphia through flash sale sites like Groupon and LivingSocial. Many of them have led us to favorites like this one, and many were an okay experience where our meal was good, but we do not see ourselves returning because of subpar service or flavors.

So, we headed out to the Crabby Cafe for dinner on a Thursday evening after work. It is located in Northeast Philly. The advertisement that it was a cajun cafe is what attracted us most, but once we did further research, we knew it would be some kind of hole-in-the-wall place. Regardless of it's location and size, it was a pretty great spot. The decor was cute. The place settings were practical-- craft paper line the tables and rolls of paper towels act as centerpieces. Our food was served sans utensils (something I am not completely comfortable with, but since I ordered finger food, I suppose it was okay). And finally, the flavors did not disappoint. My spice of my wings punched me in the face several times and I could tell by Beau's face that he really enjoyed the crawfish. I too can vouch for the crawfish. I tried one, and it was pretty good.

We would consider going back. They recommended trying the shrimp next time, so we're curious.

March 1, 2014

Spontaneous Generation

poinsettia-001 As you all know, I've had a deep love for science growing up. One of my most memorable science lessons (aside from the 8th grade final project I did on neurological disorders where I handcrafted a brain-cerebellum, brainstem and all- with wads of green play-dough) was that of spontaneous generation. Spontaneous Generation is the idea that living organisms develop from non-living matter. Take old rice for example- and this is something I believed in for many years. Say you dispose of old, cooked rice in the trash bin one day in the summer and a few days later, you see little maggots (gross, I know) in that same bin where the rice was placed. Because the maggots are the same color and relatively the same size as the rice grains, it might seem as though those little buggers morphed from the grains of rice. But in reality, several factors attributed to their appearance:
1. the heat of the summer months
2. flies being in high abundance during this time, and
3. flies laying their eggs close to a food source (the disposed of rice) to feed their young when they hatch.
Now, let me tell you that for the longest time, I believed spontaneous generation was a thing. I believed maggots were frankenstein rice grains. Oh! And those little insects that look like twigs and leaves? I thought they were as a result of this phenomenon as well. 

Fast forward to now, when I can finally accept that spontaneous generation is indeed a theory. But I can't help but wonder where all the dust in our house comes from. I dust, sweep, swiffer, mop and in a matter of days, the place is dusty again. (And it's been a crazy cold winter, so it has nothing to do with having the windows open) Three months into living here, I seriously regretted wanting wooden floors through-out. What in the world was I thinking?! When I allow myself to think about it long enough (as I have now since I am writing this post), my mind always drifts back to the possibility of spontaneous generation. That just has to be it. Granted, dust is not a living organism. But the way that thing shows up in our house, that thing seems very much alive.

So, this post was more than random. Beau often wonders what goes on in my mind because my analytic process is apparently "off the rockers". But honestly, this is how I am. This is how my brain/thought-process works.... And now you know.  

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