Category Archives: Miscelleaneous

{SQT} Blogs I’m Following Lately

I’ve only been in the blogging world for 2 months, but here are some of the blogs I have been reading that have inspired me!

1. Love Taza – the first “mommy” blog I happened upon that opened my eyes to this online forum for moms to be….moms! They live in NYC and their family is ridiculously good looking. The way she blogs about her family shows the world that being young and having kids is something rewarding and exciting 🙂

2. Small Things – Her blog has such an earthly and old-soul flavor to it that I absolutely love. It was her weekly Yarn Along link up that eventually inspired me to finally take that knitting class I’ve been wanting to do for months. Her 9-person family lives in an old farmhouse on a couple of acres, and as of late she has been reading about raising goats. Sigh.

3. This Ain’t the Lyceum – Funny and charming, this mom of 5 injects some much needed comedy on the topic of motherhood. She also hosts the 7 Quick Takes link-up that has inspired me to write about 7 things on Fridays 🙂

4. The Sitting Tree – Her knitting projects and photography are absolutely dreamy.

5. Holland’s Reverie – Another “earthy” mum who showcases her charming family and their country home! I love her sincere blog posts – a great one to follow!

6. Hello Neverland – This one is great because she offers so many great blogging tips and ideas to keep things fresh

7. beth a-dilly – a professional photographer who shares light and airy photos, and also shares some tips and tricks!

I would love to follow more photographers – but I’m having a hard time finding good ones! Most of the time their “blog” is just pictures from their latest shoot. That’s all fine and well, but I would love to find people who share about their pictures.

What are your favorite blogs to read?

1st Time: 7 Quick Takes!

I am relatively new to this blogging thing. However I HAVE noticed that most of the blogs I read do this really fun “7 Quick Takes”. I thought I would give it a go! Here are a few quick takes about me.

1. My name is Mallory Brisson (formerly White). I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart Josh for about a year and a half (together for almost 10 years!!). We have a gorgeously handsome son Joseph who is an absolute joy. He is almost 5 months old, and if he got any cuter I would probably die.mw_jb-148

2. I started this blog for 2 reasons: #1) I am very extroverted and I needed a way to “meet” new people and have “conversations”. However, this can be a bit difficult as a mom I am finding out. So, here is my blog! The best part: I can do it all while staying on my couch 🙂 #2) I take pictures because I need a way to remember and tell stories. People on Facebook probably don’t care about my stories, but I can throw those pictures on here and tell my story with them! #winning.

4 months (1 of 4)3. Where am I from? A little bit of everywhere 🙂 My dad was in the Canadian army, so we got posted around a lot. I have lived in 9 different Canadian cities! Current residence: Halifax Nova Scotia. Josh and I both did our undergraduate degrees at Dalhousie University. We moved to Ottawa for 2 years (where Josh is originally from and where we went to high school). We are now back in Halifax for Josh’s work, and loving it!

mb_jb-834. Before I became a mom, I worked for an organization called Catholic Christian Outreach. We are a university student movement dedicated to evangelization. We challenge students to live in the fullness of the Catholic faith with a strong emphasis on becoming leaders in the renewal of the world. I worked at Carleton University in Ottawa for 2 years. I found SO MUCH JOY sharing my faith with young 20-somethings. I miss it and try to keep in touch with the women I met there. Read more about my story here.

New games! Our spoils from Christmas :)

New games! Our spoils from Christmas 🙂

5. Josh and I are addicted to board games. Our “date night” usually involves a trip to Value Village where we scour the board game section, hunting for another game to add to our collection. We don’t discriminate – we love common and obscure games. As long as all the pieces are there and it is in good condition, we’ll take it! Hey, for $2.99 I think it’s a pretty fun “addiction” to have 🙂 Board games are featured on here often, so stay tuned!

0146. I love photography and have since I was a pre-teen. My grandparents  bought be a green film camera when I was 13 and I haven’t looked back since. I got a DSLR as a graduation present in 2011. Since then I take every opportunity I can to learn and improve. My goal is to someday be of professional calibre (although at the moment I have no desire to actually be a professional…I just want nice pictures for my blog! hehe).

057_edited-17. I try to thank God everyday for my life. I look around me at all that I have, and I am overcome that I was given these gifts. I was rescued from a life of mediocrity to the most exciting and fulfilling life imaginable. I still can’t believe all the ways that God pursued my heart; that he didn’t give up when I kept my walls up. For all the people that he used to win me – I will be forever grateful.

The Sheenazing Awards

I am really starting to love this whole blogging thing.

I feel like the blogosphere has opened a whole new avenue of connection.

Being a new mom hasn’t been very condusive to a happening social life.

But in a click I can visit a blog of someone who is very similar to myself; someone I can relate to.

True, it does not replace real face-to-face contact, but it is sure a nice change from Facebook!

I have been finding it hard to find Catholic mommy blogs. I was so delighted to stumble across this nomination list for the Sheenazing Awards!

There are so.many.blogs. to read through. Super pumped.

Sheenazing

Product Photography

My sister-in-law will be starting up a hobby cake business. Nothing too serious, but she will be making specialty cakes to order. I was very enthusiastic about this, and offered to help her by taking pictures of her cakes to put on her new website. Currently, the only decent pictures she has of her cakes are from me anyways! (I have a niece and a nephew…and their birthday cakes are always awesome!).

The prospect of learning something new about photography gets me really excited…but also really nervous. I am self-taught, so I always have this feeling that I have no idea what I’m doing and I will mess everything up. Certainly my technical skills are lacking, and I usually get a decent picture by fiddling around without really know if I’m doing it right.

I decided to read up on product photography to get a general sense of how to do it. Key ingredients are good lighting, a good camera with the proper settings, and a non-distracting background. I’ve got everything taken care of except the “proper settings”. I usually struggle with this. How often do I think I have this amazing image only to get home and realize I missed something crucial. Under/overexposed, too high ISO, focused on the wrong thing, wrong aperture, wrong shutter speed etc.  So frustrating!

I set up a little “studio” to practice. Here are the results!

I set myself up in front of my biggest window (for the best light). I used a (wrinkly) white bed sheet as my back drop. I was using my 35mm lens. I had my camera on a tripod because I had heard that the “best” settings are to have a very small aperature (f22 instead of f1.8) which would mean that I would have to have a slow shutter speed to let in enough light.

This is my first image. As you can see, the back drop is pretty distracting (I need to iron my sheets!). It’s also blurry.

0.5 sec at f/22 ISO 800

0.5 sec at f/22 ISO 800

In this one I slowed down shutter speed, increased aperture, and decreased ISO to get rid of the blurriness.

1.6 sec at f/16 ISO 100

1.6 sec at f/16 ISO 100

I had read that using a diffuser can help warm up natural light. I put up a white plastic shower curtain sheet over my window. It definitely warmed up my picture.

1.6 sec at f/13 ISO 100

1.6 sec at f/13 ISO 100

For this one I added a flash and slowed down the shutter speed to make it brighter.

3 sec, f/13 ISO 100

3 sec, f/13 ISO 100

I wanted to see what it would look like if I went to my biggest aperture. Moving it up to f/1.8 allowed me to speed up my shutter speed. As you see, the background, though more blurry, is still distracting. However, I was pleased to see that the image is still crisp even though the depth of field has changed!

1/30 sec, f/1.8 ISO 100

1/30 sec, f/1.8 ISO 100

I moved my display further away from the back drop and it fixed that issue!

1/30, f/1.8, ISO 100

1/30, f/1.8, ISO 100

Something not to be ignored is the perspective. The image above is great, but this one shows off more of these cool mugs. A winner!

1/30, f/1.8, ISO 100

1/30, f/1.8, ISO 100

Overall, I prefer the bigger aperture. It creates a more modern “bokeh” look by blurring the background. Some of the image crispness suffers in the places that are a different distance away from the camera. However, I do not need to shoot at 1.8 to achieve the blurry look. Simply changing it by a few stops might solve that issue!

Welcome Back

He guides my path

My last post on this blog was November 2011. That was almost 3 years ago! So.Much.Has.Changed.

I was in my 4th year of university struggling to find my purpose and my path. To say I was stressed out is an understatement. It was if a deep, dark cloud thundered over me, pressing down on me, making it hard to find joy. Making it hard to breathe. My life changed dramatically when I went to CCO’s winter conference Rise Up in Vancouver that winter. For the first time I abandoned myself to Jesus, telling him that finally he could have all of me. He could have my heart, my relationships, and yes, even my career. I would give it all to him, just as long as he did it all. I did what I thought was unthinkable – I gave up all control. I was that desperate. What he worked in my life was nothing short of a miracle.

His Spirit invaded me. That winter semester, He opened my heart and my eyes to the beauty of his friendship and mercy, and allowed me to have a beautiful part in others’ salvation history. I was convinced that my purpose and my path would be to help Him plant those beautiful, life-giving seeds. A beautiful surrender.

“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

(Romans 10:14-15)

From then, I worked as His missionary at Carleton University. Helping university students discover Him. Why He picked me, I have no idea. He seems to have a thing for under-qualified and rough-around-the-edges types to do His work. I’m not complaining. I needed to be a missionary – to save myself.

Not returning to campus this fall is a hard thing to think about. I know I am entering a new mission – one that will involve a cute little human (hopefully many!) – but my heart will always be with those who are facing the battlefield of being a 20-something, trying to figure everything out.

 

Career Path – Cardiac Technologist

I’ve been all torn up inside about my future career. I feel like I’ve been looking in all the wrong places (or rather, not looking at all). I’ve been content to just want to go for any career that is visible to me. Nursing, teaching, paramedic, physiotherapist. I kept thinking, “there must be other things I’m not seeing.” There are so many jobs within the hospital besides doctors and nurses. I prayed to God to please lead me to a career path that is suited to me. This morning I woke up and actually decided to look for a change. I found an online health career catalog put out by a hospital in BC.  In it I found a multiple of really cool sounding jobs that I’ve never heard of before. It was exactly what I needed. In it I found the job description for a Cardiac Technologist, and it sounded pretty darn cool.

The Cardiology Technologist, performs a variety of
non-invasive cardiology procedures (such as ECG,
treadmill, stress tests) and routine maintenance of
equipment. Using a personal computer and related
software, performs database functions, including
editing of electrocardiograms, storage and retrieval of
cardiac records, and related clerical duties.

First of all, it is the strangest coincidence that the ECG and treadmill stress tests are exactly what I am learning about right now in my Advanced Fitness Assessment class. Unbelievable. I almost fell out my chair when I read this description. So I decided to look up how to become one. They offer it at the BCIT, which I though, OK going to BC wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. But then I read that it is a distance and online program. BINGO. I can stay in Halifax and work on getting my diploma! And another great thing about getting certified as a cardiac technologist is that there seems to be a pretty good job demand!

I’m so happy right now. I feel like God’s hand led me right to this with perfect timing.