Let’s Celebrate My 21st Birthday!

This giveaway has ended!

It’s PARTY TIME! My 21st birthday is 6 wake-ups away, and we are going to spend the whole week celebrating. I hope during this week you will get to know me better and I can get to know you too (virtually, of course)!

To kick off the party, today is the start of a give-away! Yipee!!! I love giveaways. Come on–it is a chance to win free stuff. Who does not love that?! And I am very excited about the prize…

Captivating by John and Staci Eldredge

Captivating by John and Staci Eldredge

I had Captivating sitting on my book shelf for years growing up but did not really read it. After a year or so of marriage though, I finally read it, and boy, oh boy! was it life changing. God waited for the perfect time for me to read it. He knew when I needed it the most! It changed how I view myself and God. It was the beginning of real spiritual growth for me. Captivating truly unveiled the mystery of a woman’s soul.

I wish I could give a copy of this book to every woman I know, but alas, that is impossible. So I will be giving away one copy of Captivating. 

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment under this blog post with how long you have been married. If you are not married, comment with how long your parents/grandparents have been married. You may only enter once.

When it ends, I will use random.org to pick a winner using the number generator. The winner will be emailed and will be announced on the blog on April 2. The winner will have 24 hours to respond via email. If I do not hear from the winner, I will pick a new winner.

The give-away starts today and will end on my birthday, 03/30/2013 at 11:59 PM EST.

Happy commenting!

*Disclaimer: This give-away is solely of my own doing and is in no way affiliated with the authors/publishers. I have not received any compensation.

My Second Heart

Oh, how much I love my second heart! It beats vibrant and strong. My second heart is my love for the culinary arts.

My second heart did not form until six or seven years ago, but it has never faded away. It is always there reminding me that I can provide food and create beauty. I love working in the kitchen, and that is where my second heart beats the strongest. The kitchen is my personal sanctuary.

I can watch the Food Network or the Cooking Channel for hours on end and never be bored. The energy from food shows just seeps into my skin and adds fuel to my fiery second heart.

I mentioned in my previous post about a surprise my parents had for me. That surprise was meeting my mom’s friend who is a chef. And goodness gracious, it was awesome! Just hearing about his culinary education and career and seeing him “in action” was fuel to my fiery second heart.

I aspire to call myself a chef just like him.

When I cook, I feel like a completely different person. A different kind of blood flows through my veins, and a new energy floods me. It is like a breath of fresh air — new air. Creating something, especially something new, is magical.

We have looked at culinary schools for me when we were engaged, but it just was not possible at the time with Mister’s military career. I chose marriage over culinary school, and I do not regret that decision in the least because my first heart, my love for my husband, beats stronger than my second heart. It always will. Sure, some day, I would like to complete a culinary arts program; but my second heart will not be broken if I do not. My second heart could never be broken because I can provide food and create beauty for my husband and that is all the gratification I need.

The Winter Beauty of Lake Erie

This past weekend, I stayed the night at my parents’ house one of the two nights my husband was away at drill. On Saturday, my parents’ convinced me to hang out with them the whole day because they had a surprise for me. We drove to downtown Cleveland and went to the lake before the surprise. I was able to capture some really gorgeous pictures of frozen Lake Erie, Downtown Cleveland, and Whiskey Island.

I am in no way a professional photographer and even have a hard time taking a descent picture most of the time, but these are some shots that I think look stunning. They are all unedited except for the watermark. Enjoy!

Overlooking the lake. Using the B&W effects setting on the camera.

Overlooking the lake. Using the B&W effects setting on the camera.

Whiskey Island's lighthouse and the lake

Whiskey Island’s lighthouse and the lake from Edgewater Park

Whiskey Island's lighthouse and the lake from Edgewater Park

Whiskey Island’s lighthouse and the lake from Edgewater Park

Downtown Cleveland from Edgewater Park

Downtown Cleveland from Edgewater Park

Downtown Cleveland that includes the Browns' stadium from Edgewater Park

Downtown Cleveland that includes the Browns’ stadium from Edgewater Park

My dad took this one of me. Whiskey Island's lighthouse is very tiny in the background.

My dad took this one of me. Whiskey Island’s lighthouse is very tiny in the background.

 

Diamonds vs. Pearls

This is a guest post I wrote for Singing Through the Rain a while back before I had a blog.

Beauty. There is nothing like the beauty of a gem. Women love jewelry. We have all heard the expression, “Diamonds are a girls best friend.” Diamonds are the hardest substance currently known to man and are created by intense heat and pressure. The thing about diamonds though is there needs to be a sculptor. A diamond is only valuable when it is sculpted by the work of a man’s hands.

To read the rest, go to Diamonds vs. Pearls. Enjoy!