Is the Sony Alpha 7ii worth buying?


For years now my family has expressed over and over how great they think I would be as a photographer. I used to ask every year for a professional camera and would end up with simple point and click cameras that never captures photos quite like I wanted.

Now before I get into my Sony Alpha 7ii photos let me show you some examples of pictures I took just using my iPhone through the years.

The Smokey Mountains in Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Hiking with Justin
Ocean Drive in New Port, Rhode Island at Sunset

Now these are just a few of the pictures I would take and let me tell you phones have come a long way. Today you will find people buying the newest iPhone to suffice for their photos… however as I’m not interested right now in continuing to use my phone for my photography needs.

Justin and I planned ahead this Christmas season and realized that if we asked for Amazon gift cards we could likely end up with enough money to buy our first professional camera!

Christmas 2019

As Christmas came and went, we were thrilled to have more than enough to buy a camera. However, now we needed to research so we didn’t end up buying a camera that we didn’t love.

Our first camera purchase was a bust. It was a Canon mark 6 and the one we were sent was faulty. The camera would freeze after 5 minutes of shooting so we sent it back.

Now at this time it is January 2020 and we decided back around the end of November we would be taking a trip to Charlotte, NC in February. You see our plan has been for awhile now that we want to move and after a year of deliberating locations, countless research, and discussions we settled on visiting North Carolina in hopes we’d fall in love and take a leap into settling down finally!

If you’re not familiar with Amazon returns, you can’t purchase anything with the refunded money until they process the return fully, because in our case we paid with a gift card and we’re getting a gift card back.

As January came to a close and our trip approached we hurried and bought a Sony Alpha 7ii. Since we would be receiving the camera the day before we leave for our trip we sent it to my moms house and picked it up as we dropped Peanut off.

Now for the fun!!

Below you will find Justin and I’s first professional photos we’ve taken and edited. I’m truly in awe of how stunning these pictures are and can’t wait to cherish and look at them forever.

The mountains of Leicester, NC
Trying to be an Instagram model in Charlotte, NC
Misty morning up on the mountain just outside the cabin we stayed in.
Inside the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC that Justin took.
Product photo of Four Roses Bourbon I took during our road trip to NC
Really cool portrait I took of Justin and the mountains in Asheville, NC

As a noob photographer the Sony Alpha 7ii has been great. It is very easy to use and we have no complaints yet. As we get more advanced in our photography skills I’ll do a more formal review of all the dodads but for now if you’re an entry level photographer who wants to start with a very straight forward camera get you a Sony Alpha 7ii.

Comment down below which photo is you favorite and tell me if you think it was worth it for us to buy a professional camera!

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Remember always, “Your struggle is your strength”

– Kaitlyn Ariel Corsiglia –

Planning the Holidays is one of the hardest parts of marriage.


If you clicked on this hoping I had cracked the code on how to make the holidays stress free…. I haven’t. I have, however, given you a few paragraphs below that might make you feel less horrible about your own holiday hussle.

My husband and I have been together since October 2016. The first year of our relationship we didn’t celebrate any holidays together which I think is fair.

2017 we tried going to some family parties together but went to most without each other because we didn’t think it was worth the hassle of figuring it all out. We were engaged this year and still living at home.

Christmas 2017

2018 was the first year we lived together and were forced into making decisions about family parties and how to work through who gets when and for how long.

Now let me explain some back story. My husband grew up at the top of Illinois and I grew up at the top of Indiana. Both of our families still live in our hometowns so from one home to another it’s around 1 hour and 45 minutes if traffic is easy that day. Since we drive through Chicago to get back and forth you could understand how the traffic any given day can be hit or miss.

It’s also worth noting we currently live 20 minutes from my husbands hometown and 1 hour and 30 minutes from my hometown. We see my husbands family quite often since we live near by and most of my family I only see once a year at our now combined Thanksgiving/Christmas.

Oh yea and before I get too much farther, I have to note as well… my parents are divorced and both remarried. My brother is married with a newborn (first holidays) and my sister has a boyfriend. So I have roughly just in my immediate family… 5 families to consider (my step dads, my step moms, my sisters boyfriends, my brothers wife, my husband). Yup 5 other families to work around just to see my mom or dad. That doesn’t include one of my grandmas and aunt and uncle who live in my hometown either. So let’s count…. that makes 7 families total that my brain has to somehow figure out exactly how long to see everyone and when without hurting feelings or missing an event all together.

I’m exhausted just writing this y’all.

So you may be thinking “well you’ll get it right one of these years, why complain?” Because I’m 25… in my first year of marriage… and I have nothing better to do then hope and pray someone shows up in my comments section to bring me the magic code!!! Oh yea!!! Did I mention that on December 31st my husband and I are moving?

Yes — moving, moving. Like away from both families. Away to the point we won’t see our families unless we come to town.

So needless to say this year it seems important to see everyone and to be there for all the events.

Exciting news came in last night. Justin’s brother is graduating college the same Sunday my grandma planned our combined Thanksgiving/Christmas. What college holds graduation on a Sunday? I mean I wouldn’t know I didn’t finish college but a Sunday? Weird.

I realize writing this at 3:43 am because I woke up from my Aunt Flo coming to town at 2:30 am probably means I’ve gone crazy. But here I am writing the worlds longest complaint column you’ve ever seen!!

This is what my brain literally thinks at 3:00am — Hazaahhh!!!! I have all the powers and can say anything with noooo regret.

So to come full circle before I completely lose my sense of reality to the wee morning hours… I have an action packed day tomorrow of figuring out family parties and who I’m going to see Christmas morning.

If you have years of experience in marriage please help!! My husband and I used to fight about this time of year but now we just sigh and wish the holidays were filled with magic again. Getting older is hard.

For those who are newlyweds this season, may God give you the courage to take time for your spouse and yourself!!

For those of you single who can’t relate…. don’t judge me. Your day will come where you have to make these decisions.

For those of you with kids getting married who now have to navigate this new world, please be kind and patient. We mean well and just want some empathy.

For those of you who have it down and you find magic in your holidays…. bravo!!! I hope to one day hold this high honor myself.

Christmas 2018

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Remember always, “Your struggle is your strength”

 – Kaitlyn Ariel Corsiglia –

Dollar General Fall Decor

I’m all about a good bargain. That’s why when I shop for anything it’s always at discount stores, clearance sections, thrift stores, or antique shops.

Today after a couple days of feeling run down and sick, I got the bug to find some fall decorations after Marshall’s didn’t have anything too exciting.

Justin and I drove to the closest Dollar General and behold two full isles of seasonal decor!

My first find is this beautiful metal white pumpkin basket ($5) and a beautiful little hello fall wooden sign ($5). These two items are perfect for a front porch… mine are displayed next to my fireplace since we currently live in an apartment.

This next metal sign ($4) goes perfectly with my overall feel for decorations I keep out year round… being a pick up truck! I currently have a blue truck wax warmer that I keep out year round and this little blue truck wall sign goes perfectly with it.

My favorite buy from today is this pretty circle grateful sign ($4). It goes wonderfully with my mantle. Also pictures is two light bulbs I bought at Hobby Lobby, a thrift store cowboy boot salt shaker, and a recent figurine gift I got for releasing my children’s book!

Last but not least is a matching blue truck kitchen towel ($1) pictured with my blue truck wax warmer!

Overall I spend around $50 because I also bought a bunch of Christmas decor and a new planter for some sunflowers. I’m so happy I got some beautiful fall decorations from Dollar General because overall I think I ended up with items I love rather than getting items I sorta appreciate from other stores.

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Remember always, “Your struggle is your strength”

 – Kaitlyn Ariel Corsiglia –

Glaucoma Surgery 9/5/19

On September 5th, 2019 I went into my 8th eye surgery at Northwestern Hospital. This was the 1st surgery on my left eye which for those who don’t know, is my only seeing eye.

I had an Ahmed Valve Shunt placed in my left eye to control high pressure. Before surgery my IOP (intraocular pressure) would spike to 50 I was given and on 4 eye drops and 1 pill would sit around 30. I was under local light sedation and since my left eye is the eye I use to se me I was fully aware and alert for most of the surgery.

Thankfully surgery was completed in an hour and I got to head home an hour postop. My mom and husband did a wonderful job directing me and guiding me the first 24 hours since my seeing eye was patched.

The next day was my follow up appointment and I got my patch removed! Initially I was told my sight may not come back in my left eye for a few months but to my surprise I am actually seeing very well!

My IOP after surgery was 12, which is amazing!! Normal IOP should be around 15 so both my Doctors were very happy with how it went.

I did have some bleeding in my eye but that is standard. I also have dissolvable stitches in my eye that should dissipate one to two weeks postop.

I shared some more in depth pictures over on my Instagram if you want detailed daily updates! Today about one week and 4 days post op I feel back to normal and ready to take on the world.

Justin and I also started vlogging… which has been such a fun way for me to experience the things we’re doing visually. Since my vision decreased in 2017 real life lacks luster. Thankfully videos and photos bring me back to that moment do I can enjoy the memories visually now!! It’s been so fun seeing our little world through our YouTube channel. We are only doing YouTube for ourselves so we have archives of the adventures we had!!

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Remember always, “Your struggle is your strength”

 – Kaitlyn Ariel Corsiglia –

Summer 2019

This summer for my eyes has been quite the adventure.

It started in July when in the middle of the night my good eye would be hard as a rock and in horrible pain.

After multiple doctor visits and pressure checks…

It was determined that I need Glaucoma surgery to help keep my good eye good. They’ll be placing a valve shunt on September 5th, 2019

This is my first surgery on my left eye but my 8th surgery overall.

If you are a person of faith I would greatly appreciate the prayers and positive thoughts!

I’ll be sure to update my blog, whether it’s me or my husband, as soon as I can!

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Remember always, “Your struggle is your strength”

– Kaitlyn Ariel Corsiglia –

Also!!! Justin and I started a vlog channel check it out below

The Car That Got Away

I am 24 years old currently.

I have owned 3 cars total.

My first car was a black Mercury Mariner

My second car was a gray Jeep Compass

My last car was a green Chevy Cruze….

March 2019 I sold my Chevy Cruze because I stopped driving.

Justin and I have been blessed enough to have jobs within 15 minutes of each other. We found that carpooling was better for us because I don’t think driving is a safe function for me anymore since my vision has deteriorated. We decided shortly after our wedding day that it was better to sell my car than to keep it and never use it.

It was the hardest moment to realize that I am 24 and my eyes are so bad that I needed to get rid of my car. I can’t even tell you the last time I drove. It really scares me to get behind the wheel of a car. Maybe it wouldn’t bother me if I was on back country roads but city driving scares the life outta me!

Anyway, I feel good about the decision now but I sure did cry a bunch the day after I let my car go. I am thankful now though because it’s one less stress we need to worry about.

As I was crying into Justin he took my face and told me “Katie, one day were going to own land and we’re going to get your a Studebaker truck… and you’re going to drive again on our land.”

I love my husband and I am so thankful for his compassionate heart. He really knows me!

Talk to you guys soon 🙂

March 2019

Wednesday March 27th, 2019 I saw my ophthalmologist in downtown Chicago.

In my vows to Justin I said that I would always make eye appointments fun by forcing us to get Stans Donuts. We stopped as I anticipated and I got a mango smoothie, he got an on tap cold brew, and we split a Bavarian cream chocolate dipped donut.

Justin sitting behind a table with a bag showing the Stan’s Donuts logo and two drinks.

Since Justin and I got married on March 9th, 2019 I knew that going into this eye doctor appointment meant I know could talk to Dr. G about the effects pregnancy would have on my body… but more importantly my eyes.

Thankfully I already knew that Pars Planitis wasn’t hereditary. But I wasn’t sure if I would be allowed to have babies since there is quite a bit of strain that a woman’s body goes throughout the pregnancy and birthing experience.

Mind you my doctor appointments in the city take hours. We arrived at 3:00 and we didn’t leave for home until 6:00! What I’m getting at is that I am so forgetful and of course when she left the room I went doooooh’ I needed to ask her about babies.

Graciously her fellow went and got her for me and we had a chat. To my surprise she said that I am 100% allowed to have a baby!! WAHOOOO!!!

But…. there are some catches.

She warned that during the first trimester my eye pressure will likely drop low. If you know anything about my eyes history I have been dealing with pressure spikes and drops like crazy the past two years. One minute my pressure is 32 the next its 5… healthy eye pressure is between 10-20 so given that I am still stable when a baby comes into the picture she will want to monitor my eye pressure very closely.

I currently take Alphagan (2x a day), Cosopt(2x a day), and Travatan(1x a day) which are all drops that help bring pressure to a stable place. So likely I’d probably see reduced drop usage in the first 3 months of pregnancy.

She reassured me that my pressure would stabilize during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. So WAHOO #2!!!! No crazy worries towards the middle and end of pregnancy.

The biggest but comes in during delivery…

Dr. G said since I have a history of retinal hemorrhaging she suggests that they do laser treatments and cryotherapy to help negate the effects natural child birth can bring. So I guess if Justin and I ever want to have babies we will be paying for minor eye surgery as well… which I can’t say I’m surprised.

This image is what the back of your eye looks like. The white part on the left hand side of the screen is my optic nerve, the black spot on the right part of the screen is my fovea. The blood vessels running up and down from my optic nerve, shows a hemorrhage I had in September of 2017. You can see my blood vessel was actively bleeding.

In the end, Justin and I aren’t 100% certain about having babies yet. I’m sure as our marriage progresses we will begin discussing further, but for now we are happy just being married and loving on our beautiful puppy, Peanut!

Other than that my eyes are stable and things are quieting down. I’m always worried about my eyes still, I think that just comes with the territory. I try my best to not let it bring me down or cloud my life… for the most part it works! It especially helps when I see my dr and know that things are looking good.

I am scheduled to see her again in 3 months. One of my longer time spans between visits, means shes happy with my eyes.

Until then, this has been another eye update 🙂

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Remember always, “Your struggle is your strength”

– Kaitlyn Ariel Corsiglia –

Our Wedding Day

Justin and I for almost 2 years had openly discussed our wedding plans. It took us that long to figure out what we really wanted because as many people know planning a wedding is not only stressful, but it is also very consuming having to consider making everyone happy. To make things harder, we had to pay for everything ourselves.

We went from venue to venue looking for the perfect place to say “I Do”. One was in downtown Chicago, another was his grandparents first home. We searched high and low for something perfect, but nothing seemed to appear. We thought about running away and eloping by ourselves, but I quickly learned I didn’t want to do the getting ready part alone. Not only that but I really didn’t want his side or my side of the family to be upset they weren’t included.

About 3 months ago, we decided to do a small family only ceremony at the place we had our first date… The Chain O’ Lakes State Park! We were hoping for a beautiful sunny day full of God’s light and a little more warmth than Chicago normally allows for at the end of winter. Everyday leading up to our wedding was blue skies and beautiful! As March 9th got closer the forecast showed rain and high winds… ya exactly what you want on your wedding day!!

The day before our wedding we went to The Chain to scoop out the different places we could say our vows. Birds were singing and not a cloud was in sight! The weather still showed rain in the forecast but we were hopeful.

The morning of our wedding arrived and as I’m anxiously watching the news and checking my phone constantly, we finally called it. Justin and I decided if we can get everyone to be there by 2:00 pm, we should be good to go!!! From my understanding the weather was going to turn sour by 3:00 pm. With our wedding originally being set for 4:00 pm I knew our window for no crazy weather was better at 2:00.

As we were approaching the park and getting set to start the wedding it began drizzling. I was praying praying praying as hard as I could!! Then my family all went to the seats and suddenly it started pouring right as I’m supposed to walk down the aisle!

It was cold, raining, and no one could sit since the chairs were wet hahaha, but at the end of the day Justin and I said our vows and we got married!! It was the most imperfect, perfect day I could’ve ever imagined. Shivering or not we are now Husband and Wife and I couldn’t be prouder to call him my Husband.

People don’t lie, your wedding day happens so fast! In the end I’m glad we didn’t spend $10,000 on decorations and things because it really does begin and end in a literal blink of an eye. I got to walk down the aisle with the song I always imagined, and Justin gave me his coat so I wouldn’t be cold. His phone died during his vows, which is a very Justin thing to happen! We were surrounded by our family and we all for a few minutes got to enjoy being in the presence of God.

Weddings, in my opinion, shouldn’t be perfect! If you think about it, life isn’t perfect nor is a marriage. Imagining and making a wedding perfect, I fear, makes people believe that’s how life will be everyday. I found that my heart was satisfied and overcome with joy after our wedding. Even though the day before and the day after our wedding was sunny and beautiful we will never forget the rainy windy weather we faced in the first moments of our new life together.

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Remember always, “Your struggle is your strength”

– Kaitlyn Ariel Vander Meer –

Panic on Paper – 10 Days Away

I have never gotten this close to something in my entire life… Let me back up a little bit.

It’s been 2 years and 5 months since Justin and I started our journey together as a couple. To say it’s been easy would be a lie. We have moments where we fight all day, we’ve hurt one another and had to win each others hearts again, we have also loved each other deeper than I’ve every experienced.

Before Justin I thought I was in love and happy. I was engaged to someone who took my trust and destroyed it. He was an alcoholic and so destructive. I found my way out of the pain he caused only by the grace of God Himself. The love God showed me through that situation was the reason I am who I am today.

I suppose as a damaged person I started looking to heal the pain in anyway I knew how. First I turned to anyone that would give me the time of day. Then I moved the pain to drinking and wanting to be someone I’m not. Third I turned to my family and the healing power being with loved ones has on you. I went from living on my own in Alabama to moving home to Indiana to find who I was again.

I binged on life. Went out on the town, traveled A LOT, mindlessly chased boys… until Justin appeared with his stupid dirty jokes and his attitude.

While Justin and I were just texting back and forth for months I went on a few dates. Non of which made me feel any type of way! At the end of the day I would be interested in talking to Justin and that’s what I would do.

Fast forward to today, 2/28/2019, Justin and I are getting married in 10 days and I couldn’t be happier. I think it’s funny when moments like these happen in life. You expect to feel like they do in movies! Like all the sudden everything makes sense and you live happily ever after… but in reality I still just feel like Katie! I don’t think I am overly nervous or overly excited. I am just feeling good and comfortable…

The one thing I am thinking about a lot more in the 10 days leading up to our wedding day, is how I feel like I need to close all these open doors. It is called closure after all! I think living life without finding peace can be toxic and no matter what you should also be finding a good resting place for your soul. Give yourself a break and just follow the direction you are feeling pulled in! It’s not that hard… our mind, body, soul, and heart are all working together to gentle pull you in one direction. Right now you are swimming against the current of life, all you need to do is let go of that control and listen.

I know most of my posts probably don’t seem to keep a clear path but this is my therapy session. It’s my chance to listen to my heart and to get all these pent up emotions out!

I hope you feel like these help you in someway. I know it helps me!! I wish you all nothing but love and happiness in life. Thank you for tuning into another panic on paper.

T.J. Maxx Shopping Partner!

#Ad – T.J. Maxx #Maxx50Challenge (2/2/19)

I am writing about my experience being a T.J. Maxx Partner, please be aware this is considered an Ad!

For those that don’t know, the Maxx 50 Challenge is an Instagram story where you get a $50 gift card from T.J. Maxx and go to their store and shop. The story you create is posted to their Instagram page a few weeks after you send it.

I was asked in January to be a partner for T.J. Maxx. It was a dream of mine to get to be featured on their page and I honestly couldn’t believe I finally got the opportunity.

The process was really easy and fun! I went to my favorite T.J. Maxx (located in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin) and as I shopped I took various pictures, videos, boomerangs, and polls highlighting men’s clothing and the dog section!

I found the most adorable dog toys for Peanut and I even got a pretty little honeymoon dress! I ended up spending $50.59 so .59 cents over my budget of $50! If you want to see the full T.J. Maxx story I posted it to my Instagram.

Overall, I shop for everything I own at T.J. Maxx as it is! I am constantly posting about the things I find at their store, so thank you God for giving me the ability to be annoying enough to be asked to partner with them!

Here are a couple pictures from the day I spent shopping! Enjoy

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Remember always, “Your struggle is your strength”

 – Kaitlyn Ariel Corsiglia –