Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Season's Sensation: Chocolate Banana Ice Cream Smoothie

 Here with the smoothie recipe I mentioned in my July Currently post! :) Mind you, I'm on vacation right now, and this post was scheduled. :D I'm having fun... hopefully, because I don't know that yet, since I wrote this up the day before we left. :P 

 So anyhow, this is a good recipe for your hot summer days! =D


3 tbsp cocoa

3\4 cup milk

1\2 tbsp honey

1 1\2 -ish frozen banana

pinch of salt

a little cinnamon (a pinch?)

Blend together in a blender and enjoy! 

(This may be two servings, by the way.) 

 These are some pictures I took sometime before we left. The sun was shining, and it was raining! :) Pretty cool.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Silent Blade Blog Tour + Review

 Hey everyone! I am being a part of the blog tour for The Silent Blade by Jesseca Wheaton today! 

Be sure to check it out and enter the giveaway below!


Dromiskin, Ireland. 925 A.D.

Eira has no greater desire than to see her life returned to what it once was-before her older brother Kevin's sudden disappearance four years earlier. But the simple life she hoped for seems unattainable; on the contrary, her life is about to get all the more complicated when she suddenly finds herself and Willem, her twin brother, taken captive by someone who claims to be Kevin's enemy, things go from bad to worse. It soon becomes clear that she and Willem are to become bait in a trap set for Kevin, and Eira knows she must try to warn him. But how, when she herself is a captive? 
As mysteries of the past are unveiled, and loyalties are revealed, Eira realizes how precious her friends truly are. And when mortal danger threatens those nearest to her, will she be able to trust God with the lives of her friends and family?

                          ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  Jesseca is an 18-year old daughter, sister, and a child of God. Her days are spent reading, cooking, spending time with siblings, or playing piano.  And writing, of course! At an early age words fascinated her, and her love for the printed page has only grown. She lives with her parents and seven siblings in the sunny state of Kansas. She is thoroughly convinced there’s no place like home.


   The Silent Blade is a story set in Ireland during the 900's. One evening, twins Willem and Eira are captured by enemies of thier older brother Kevin and their lives take a course they hadn't planned. Soon they find themselves in the midst of conflict between Kevin and his long endured enemy, Merek. 

  A story of jealousy, revenge, forgiveness, and love. 

  Here are some of my thoughts on The Silent Blade! :)

  Jesseca wove some good lessons in this story. These were on forgiveness and leaving vengeance to God, and of how jealousy can ruin a person. There is a good illustration of this in the story, and then you'll understand the title. :)

  There was a very light romance, and it was just a sweet one. :) No kissing or anything. 

  My favorite character was possibly Casimir, but I don't know. :P Isn't that a great name though?! A little like "Caspian", but... different of course. ;) I like it. And how he's protective of Eira... :D

  There were some things that gave this a lower rating for me. Sometimes not a lot happened, or the characters reaction to things sometimes didn't seem very realistic. Maybe a lack of emotion... 

  BUT it was a good book! :) So go get yourself a copy of The Silent Blade!

Recommendations: Ages 11\12+ There wasn't really anything that wouldn't be appropriate for young readers- just minor violence. :)  

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, July 20th

Mikayla H.at The Bubblegum Ballerina --Review
Blessings Counter at Counting your Blessings One by One --Author Interview
Ivy Rose at  Lakeside Publications --Review, Spotlight
Mallory Beth at Renewed by Grace --Review

Thursday, July 21st

Lydia Dyslin at Through the Wardrobe --Review
Rebekah Eddy at Rebekah’s Remarks --Review, Interview
Abigayle Allison at The Left-Handed Typist --Review, Spotlight

Friday, July 22nd (Publication Day!!)

Blessings Counter at Counting your Blessings One by One --Review
Rebekah Ashleigh at Rebekah Ashleigh --Spotlight
Amanda Tero at  With a Joyful Noise --Review, Interview, Spotlight
Deborah O’Carroll at The Road of a Writer –Review, Spotlight
Kaitlyn K. at Prairie Gal Cookin’ --Review, Spotlight
Bethany R. at A Great God and Good Cocoa --Review, Spotlight
Deborah C. at Reading in June --Spotlight, Review
Emily at A Purpose and a Promise --Spotlight, Review

Saturday, July 23rd

Kellyn Roth at Reveries--Review, Interview
Jason McIntire at Elisha Press--Interview
Natasha H. at Looking Through my Lens --Review
Faith P. at Stories by Firefly --Review, Interview

Monday, July 25th

Jesseca Wheaton at Whimsical Writings --Blog Tour wrap-up post

Friday, July 15, 2016

Currently in July

  Time for my July "currently" post! :D I know a lot of these don't make sense since I'm not currently doing them anymore... (most of them). So just read it like this: this is currently what happened so far in July. Make sense? ;D


 We had storms that caused flooding... we don't live by a river, so we weren't in danger. ;) But the field next to our house got a big "puddle"... otherwise you can call it a temporary pond that comes now and then. ;)

(the only editing I did on this picture is the coloring, BTW)

 I really like this picture. I had my little sister throw a rock into the water so I could take action pictures. :) Speaking of action pictures, I did a post on action photography tips the other day. Click HERE to see it. 


  One thing we did so far this month, is our Fourth of July celebration. You may have seen THE POST on it. We went to the lake and hung out at the rocky shore, then watched fireworks from the boat later. Twas quite cool. :D 
  My 12 and 14 year old brother and sister had their friends over for their birthdays last week. We lit off some fireworks my mom had bought, so that was kind of fun. :) 
 I watched them play Dangerous Hunts 2 for a while earlier that day. I tried it the other day- eek, it can be scary! And fun, though I'm not too good. This one level I tried had lions... I died, of course. :P  


 So as I've mentioned before, I bought two books with the gift card I won. They're both here now! (I'm pretty sure The Captive Maiden came this month, so I'm qualifying it for a July buy. ;) And Resistance can count too, even though it came in June. :P) 

   Lovely, aren't they? :D

  And yesterday I bought myself a memory stick in case I need it for my pictures while on vacation! It was about $5 for 8 gigabytes, so I think it'll serve me well. =) 


 We made salsa the 12th. :) We kept a little out fresh ('cause it's really good that way), but the majority got canned.  

 I took some pictures of the salsa making. ;)

 Anybody else a Mexican food fan? :D

 I (mostly) made these delicious No-Bake Flourless Brownies from my sister's blog yesterday. :) I didn't make the topping though... it's healthier that way, but the topping is good. :) 
 I stole the picture of them from her blog. =D Hahaha, I'm so bad... um, no. I think I actually took that picture. :P Okay, never mind my weirdness...

 Something I recently remade (of sorts) was my blog design. Did you notice? I really like it, especially the header! I think it's my best design so far. All the colors seem to just work perfectly together- the greens, purples, and then the sort of yellow-tan color. It's awesome how the camera picture and the one of me on the rock in the header both have a tan color in them to kind of match the background! (coincidence, by the way) 
I'm not entirely sure if the purple in my design matched the flower picture in the header, but... it works. ;) For now, anyhow.


 Ummm... A Lasting Impression.... still. :P 

BUT I have a good excuse. I had to put this one on hold to advance read The Silent Blade for the blog tour. 

 My post for it is going to be on here the 23 of this month. I'll be gone, so I'm gonna schedule that post. Be sure to check it our though. :)

 So yea, I read The Silent Blade and continued on with A Lasting Impression. What will I read next? Well, probably either Water Princess, Fire Prince or The Captive Maiden. :) Or possibly something else...


  I bet you could never guess. :P Ha. Yes, my VACATION!!! :D :D :D I have a lot packed, but... eek, there's just so much to take! :0 (*whispers* or maybe my problem is that I just want to take too much clothes? :P)

 So yea, we're leaving in a few daaayyysss!! :D 

 I'll have two posts scheduled for while I'm gone. First The Silent Blade blog tour on the 23rd, and then possibly a smoothie recipe some other time. :) But other than that... 

   ...It's a farewell until August sometime. :) Hopefully you guys don't miss me too much (ha,ha) and prepare to be bombarded with a thousand million pictures when I get back on here! =D

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Photography Tips: Catching Life in Action

  Today I'm doing a post on action photography tips. What's a blog called Looking Through My Lens if it doesn't give tips on photography?! :D 

 So, I'm not an expert at action photos yet, but I still may be able to muster up some tips that'll help fellow amateur photographers. ;)


   When the shutter speed is fast, it takes the picture fast, so, obviously, it freezes the motion better. :D

  However, fast shutter speed can make the picture darker, especially on days that aren't very bright, so...


  OK, I'm not an expert at knowing what all this stuff is, but I do know that a higher ISO makes the picture brighter. And it makes the picture less quality or something, so only go higher when necessary, such as with firework pictures. I believe I used the highest ISO on my camera for this one above. 

Combine that with fast shutter speed, and you have the camera taking pictures fast, and the ISO keeping the picture bright enough. :) 
 Now some random, lesser tips. ;)


 Probably when you'd most need to do this is when you can't focus on your subject before it comes and is gone. So you just focus on the area where it'll be, press the shutter button down halfway, and snap the picture when the action comes.  


 Otherwise you may just miss the action. And what's the point of taking action pictures if you aren't ready and you miss all the action? :P 

So get your settings adjusted beforehand!


  If you can avoid it, then avoid it. Flash action pictures don't always look the greatest, even if it helps freeze motion. So just adjust the shutter speed and ISO instead. :) 

 And here's a bonus picture that I rather like. The grass and field are all softly blurred, and it's just nice. :)

 So there are a few tips! If you are trying to figure out how to get good action photos, I hope this helps. :)

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

   Yes, yes, another recipe. :) I just decided to do a recipe post dump. ;) So I can just get these things posted.
  So anyhow, this one is healthier peanut butter cookies (YUM!!) with chocolate chips (YUM AGAIN! :P). I used honey, so these are free of cane sugar.

  And they taste rather good. :D Dense and chocolate-y and delicious! Peanut butter- ah- is so good! Agree? ;)


1 cup peanut butter

1\4 cup + 1 tbsp honey

1 egg

a pinch baking powder

1\4 cup + 2 tbsp flour

1 tbsp sour cream (or yogurt)

1\2 cup chocolate chips 

 Mix peanut butter honey and egg together. Add remaining ingredients. Form balls and place on un-greased cookie sheet (or stone pan, in my case). Flatten slightly.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 16 minutes.  

Yield: 13 cookies

note: these don't really spread, so you can space them pretty close. And the dough will be very oil-y, for some reason. (The peanut butter, probably? It may depend what kind of peanut butter you use, though. *shrugs*)

  Ah, food photography! <3 

So there's the recipe, along with all it's cookie-picture beauty! :P :D

Season's Sensation: Peach Lemonade Smoothie Drink

 A smoothie drink for the summer! Just blend the four ingredients, chill for a bit in the refrigerator, and enjoy! ;)


2 small peaches

1\4 cup water

1 1\4 t lemon juice

1 1\4 t honey

Combine ingredients well in a blender. You can cool it in the refrigerator for a while if you'd like, though I didn't. ;) I'm guessing it's better that way, though. 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

No-Bake Fudge Popcorn Bars (cane sugar free)

 Another recipe! This one is like fudge no-bake cookies (I used a recipe for it as a guide for this stuff), but it's popcorn instead. Popcorn, peanuts, and shredded coconut covered in fudge-y chocolate. Yum. 

 It didn't seem to harden up like the no-bake cookies. That might be because I used honey instead of sugar, and I cut the butter... So I just put it in the freezer. ;)


6 tbsp butter

3\4 cup honey

1\2 cup milk

1\2 cup cocoa

4 3\4 cups popcorn

3\4 cup shredded coconut

1\4 cup crushed peanuts

 Combine first four ingredients in a saucepan. Mix the other ingredients in a heat-safe bowl. (when measureing the popcorn, pack it down a bit. Doesn't matter if the popcorn gets crushed) 
Bring the saucepan mixture to a boil and boil for two minutes. Pour into the bowl mixture and combine well. Then pour it into a 9x9 pan and freeze. 

 ENJOY! ;)

 So yes, this was really good. :)