Saturday, December 24, 2016


okay yes sorry to freak you out if you haven't finished but TOMORROW IS CHRISTMAS GUYS OKAY EEKK. isn't it insane? like Christmas just crept up on me.
November: psh Christmas is a whole month away
Me: *agrees but Christmas shops anyways*
Christmas: HEEEYYY.
Christmas: lol nope. sorry.

(okay yes but I legit can't wait for my little bro to open his gift) oh, and all the gag gifts Julia and I have been making for our dad and grandpa lol

*hopes my dad doesn't get on here shhh*
I don't think i'd call this a gag gift but ISN'T IT THE COOLEST. my dad has always been a hand sanitizer guy so when Julia found this we were like YAASSS ^^ yep I made it credit to pinterest for the idea. and yes I'm made my grandpa edible coal.

can you imagine, God gave His only Son for us. Jesus died for you and me - He saved us - and He's coming back for us. it's so amazing and just...mind boggling.
for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. - luke 2:11


mom: *tosses kit kat at me* *kit kat hits me in face* "whoops"
me: "thaannkss"

have you ever done any prank gifts?
do you feel like Christmas came rly fast this year?

how to print your own book for $10 || using lulu and canva

Monday, December 12, 2016

Have you ever wanted a copy of your own book just for your own? To hold in your hands? (and maybe throw against the wall sometimes. shhhh) well, here you go. You can have your dream for only $10 - no joke.

well guys - here I am to bring you an in depth tutorial on how to publish your book with lulu. (including how to make cover with Canva, and actually being able to use it). I discovered that it wouldn't allow Canva images - but, well, I figured a way out of that. Want to see?

I spent 12 hours figuring this out for Julia's book so yeah, this may be long. but I'm here to save you time and headaches k? don't be daunted by my 12 hours on this - I made this test one WHILE doing this post and it literally took no time. I wish I had had this post for myself! well, here we go!

UPDATE: see the results here!

// STEP 1. first thing off is to choose the size of your book - then go ahead and download the word document sizing they give you and go format your book. It may sound daunting - but if you use the lulu formatting they give you it rly isn't that hard. Or, if you dare like I did, go free and format it yourself. (I won't be going too in depth with this bc it rly wasn't hard to figure out - comment below if you are having some issues and I'll see what I can do to help though!) oh, and in my case I chose the Premium Paperback 6x9

// STEP 2. now that you've formatted your book go ahead and write how many pages you have in the area selected on the lulu website. (I have 260 in this example). Choose if you want cream, or white paper. Select 'Make this book'

// STEP 3. go ahead and title your book and add your name. (feel free to use a pen name, or middle name).

// STEP 4. make sure to select this handy dandy little thing, k? This means ONLY YOU will have access to your book.

// STEP 5. go ahead and uploaded your formatted document. I uploaded mine as a Word Document btw.

// STEP 6. k it's uploaded? good. Now click 'Make Print-Ready File' go ahead and wait for that to load.

// STEP 7. pretty self explanatory. download, save and continue. From there, go to the 'advanced one piece cover wizard' 

// STEP 8. pay careful attention here. the dimensions here will not be the same as yours okay. DO NOT USE MINE. Use what is on your screen. Super important. Your dimensions will be where I highlighted it. okay? Use those. 

// STEP 9. we've done everything we can on the lulu website for now. SO, we are onto the cover. head on over to Canva  I promise. You won't be disappointed. Just, dont lose your head, k? Stay focused. Get over there and select 'use custom dimensions' in the right hand corner. Enter your info. (Mine is 3851x2775)

 // STEP 10. upload your image and design your cover (remember, if you are using a pinterest image as I am IT CANNOT BE USED FOR SELLING - only personal use, k? Keep in mind that a pinterest image could come out blurry - it's a chance to take.) If you are going to have a spine with font on it, you are going to have to get the measurements by subtracting where the spine begins from your total width with those same dimensions. when you are designing your cover be sure to leave space around the whole perimeter bc they cut stuff off. (btw i barely played with this cover - just did the basics for you all). 

// STEP 11. Okay so save this as ' PDF - print' 'kay? then download your image. Saving this as a PDF blows it up SUPER LARGE meaning, you can't just open it up and load it onto lulu like this. So I had to find another way. 

// STEP 12. To do this you are going to have to download a photo editing website called Gimp (you can do this temporarily and take it off your computer after). Don't worry, it's safe and free. You can go here to download it. It should take no time to download it. ^^ download it directly. 

// STEP 13. open up Gimp and upload your cover. See what I circled up there? Okay, put in your covers size. (mine is 3851x2775) THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT OKAY. so change that and select 'Import.' Don't worry if it changes your dimensions slightly like mine is now (3851x2774). 

// STEP 14. okay very important here. See that up there? it says 'Flatten Image' Select that. 

// STEP 15. okay now you have to export it. Select that and a window will pop up. 

// STEP 16.  Scroll until you find what I have highlighted above. It needs to be saved as a JPEG image, k? now, wait. don't select Export yet.

// STEP 17. this is major right here k. It WILL NOT WORK if you don't do this. see how it says 'examplebook title.pdf' up there? Okay, well what it needs to say is, 'examplebook title.jpeg' to get that, you just type it in yourself. okay? (aka take out the pdf and add jpeg to the end) Do this. Now you can click the export button down there and save it.

// STEP 18. Go onto the lulu website where you left it and upload your cover. It should work perfectly. (I've been doing this as I go along and it works for me.) Select save and continue.

// STEP 19. go ahead and download then save it. 

// STEP 20. EEEPPP. LOOK YOU'VE GOTTEN THIS FAR. okay now. *clear throat* Select 'save and finish' okay so it says your book is now published 'order a proof copy' it may look like anyone could buy it. DON'T FREAK. it's just for you only. Don't worry. 

well, what are you waiting for? GO ORDER YOUR BOOK. also, don't forget about coupon codes. I got a special deal and was able to get a free book so Julia got the two copies like she wanted. I think it's a one time deal thing bc I had an unfinished book in my account. Go ahead and google "lulu coupon codes" and try a bunch to see if they work. I got two copies of Julia's book for $11 including shipping. Shipping is around $4 for one book and it was $5 bc we bought two. 

I spent hours trying to figure this out and I googled tutorials but found barely any. I love Canva so I'm glad I was able to figure out how to use it for my cover. I hope this helps someone out there!

p.s. I just wanted to say thanks to my amazing writing group for helping me out with this. Dealing with my constant groans as stuff wouldn't work, and, a special thx to Chloe for suggesting to "flatten" the image again.

p.p.s. I ordered the books yesterday - when I get them we'll definitely be showing you all the results. :D

would you try printing out your book?
if so, would you use my tutorial?

not your normal nano post || the truth - 50k rly doesn't matter

Saturday, December 3, 2016

nanowrimo yep we all know it. the 50k in a month along with insaneness, lots of cabin wars and headaches. yep, yep.

a few months ago, my friend asked me if I was doing nano.
me: "I dunno...I don't think I'll have time to finish this novel and come up with an idea for a new one. and like, 50k amidst crazy busy life. umm."

I literally thought I'd be passing up on nano this year. I did. I don't actually remember how it happened but I decided I'd use nano to finish up my book. ya know, maybe 30k more until this thing is done? ha. sure.

I was scrolling through my hangouts a week before nano -- having not done like any plotting to finish up this book. Someone in my writing group had send this link for a 5k in one day thing.
me: *clicks*
...wait. I'm in--wait what I just sign myself up for um

so I then proceeded to drag the Ju in and as you know, on November 1st I wrote 11k. INSANE OKAY. *still hasn't fully comprehended that* so moving on *presses fastforward* *skips 28 nano crazy days*

I was glancing through my calendar at the end of last month. For 15 legit days of the month I hadn't written--it shocked me. I mean, I know I had been busy. But could I have done better? could I have pushed myself to reach 50k? My book isn't finished--maybe I could have done it.

but that isn't the point--is it? I mean, yeah--it is. To write 50k in the month. but it's also just to get words written. and, I did that. My novel is 82k now.

yeah, I did feel like maybe I could have done better when I watched my writing group reach 50k like dominoes. I looked at all those empty wordless days.

this is wayyyy to accurate ^^
But if I showed you my calendar all you'd see is days filled (like literally there is no more space on those squares). It was busy. I mean, just look at my monthly post for november. like, nuttsss.

I've come to the conclusion that all those 30,000 words I wrote this month--well, I probably wouldn't have written them otherwise. I did write them and that's a fact. Throughout this crazy month I legit wrote 30k--no, it's not the normal 50k but I don't care. I did it--I reached my own personal goal and accomplished what I set out to do.

yes, my book still has prob 20k more until it's over. Yes, maybe I could have stuffed it in November. but rly,

that just wasn't what I wanted--I didn't want a "stuffed" ending. I did what I set out to do and, well, I wasn't going to write this post...but when I thought about it--I know there are prob some of you out there who didn't finish nano but maybe you did get some words written and you know what,

YOU DID IT OKAY. I don't care that you didn't reach 50k YOU WROTE. YOU ROCKED IT. don't ever feel that you aren't good enough, or you can't do it. bc you can.

and to all you nano winners out there YOU ROCKED IT TOO. we all did. Maybe next year I'll go for 50k--guess we'll see, right?

did you write at all this month?
do you ever feel that maybe you could have done better?

november in review || featuring crazy random moments

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


- wrote 30,009 words for nanowrimo making my book around 81,682 AND ITS NOT DONE

- designed ju's book cover

- I went sugar free for a week DUN DUN DUUUNNNNN

no dont worry it didn't snow like that much just a few flurries
- participated in a festival and earned money for christmas gifts *whispers* yaassssss

I legit got a nickname this month. I don't remember who came up with it (someone in my writing group) but now I have the nickname "Sare" YOU GUYS SRSLY MAKE ME SO HAPPY JULIA EVEN CALLS ME IT NOW i've tried forever to get Ju to use a nickname for me and you guys did it in a week okay

I had the best birthday -- that's all I can use to describe it k

- got the most adorable mini whale from Hannah for my birthday LOOK AT THIS THING xD

- a bunch of girls in my nanowrimo group did a collab Narnia party themed hack. TOTAL EPICNESS.

- okay I was looking thru my planner and last month legit wrote 8k for the whole month of October. OKAY WHAT I WROTE 11K IN ONE DAY THIS MONTH what have i even been doing

November 1st - *dies* I wrote 11k okay.

Nov 8th - wrote 1,362 words in a 25 min sprint. yeeaaahhhh my group was gonna call the nano police on me lol

November 21st - WRITERS BLOCK OKAY.

November 26th - has not written for three days ugh

*when you decide that today is going to be dedicated to writing and end up running errands literally all day* *headdesk*

- symphony of silence by sophia noelle -  << *sighs happily* just. these words okay.
- the monstrous beast of comparison by hannah white - << okay can we just all like scream right now at the epicness of this post yes we can uh huh *nodnod* like, TRUTH is written all over this post okay yup
blanket by lorraine - << this post is so real to me -- i often wonder if when I see someone, when i utter that 'goodbye', if it'll be the last time i see them. and once, it was.

my airforce man by elizabeth anne  - << can i like go cry in the corner plz

what is nano really about by hannah white -  << so bc hannah is so awesome I had to mention this post too BC LIKE TRUTH AGAIN. I didn't go for 50k this month, and, I'll admit, I did feel quite bad when I looked back on my planner and discovered that legit 15 days had "0" words written. HALF OF THE MONTH OKAY. well, I realized then that well, maybe I *could* have done 50k. but, nope. Do you know how busy I was? I'm satisfied now as I look back on this month--I legit wrote 30k amidst it all. so, thx Hannah, for the reminder. XD
as of late by hannah - << where I learned you can go without sleep for 96 hours. (apparently google does not know me hahaha xD)
apart by julia ryan - << yesss, i'm a good sister I mention ju *nodnod* but rly this post is real. 

lost camera card. me: "I already looked in the couch!* *looks everywhere* *julia finds it in couch* *headdesk*

- *loses lens cap outside during photoshoot* *looks for it outside three times* *finds in pocket* whoops.

- *rakes leaves* *gets blister* um yeeaaahhhh. gloves. whoops.

- *is looking for lockbox key* *goes under bed* *ohh look old writing* *finds writing from when I was six. ewwww no* *shoves it away* *gets to bottom of box* *forgets what I was even doing* "ohey I found the key"

- finding the most adorable thing ever at the store

- *sets down bowl of oatmeal from microwave* *faintly touches finger on hot stove* mom: "oh! did you get burnt?" me: "nah" later: "oh look, a blister. whoops."

- *awkwardly runs thru store in heeled boots bc the store is closing (a.k.a. is closed) to get the paper plates your mom asked you to get*

- *when your sister pretends she turns to into a pumpkin at midnight, and is groaning on the kitchen floor*
me: ....

- the awkward moment when you are mixing your frosting and realize 30 seconds into it that it's whipping air bc you forgot the paddle attachments

- that crazy moment when your mom and dad bring in your cupcakes and stuck in each individual cupcake is a single candle that is exploding fireworks. legit you blow them out and they come back. like, they crackle with blue light of electricity. good joke mom. xD
- when you are at the store and this elderly gentleman asks you to try on a pair of leather gloves bc he is Christmas shopping and your hands look a similar size to his wife's lolol

- sitting in the car eating Doritos and drinking soda with your bros as turn up the Christmas music

- TAKE OVER THE BLOGGING WORLD jk jk *ahem* I mean, comment on more blogs, yes, of course that's what I meant to say *nodnod*

- start and stick with my new bullet journal

- finish my mess of a book named Oblivion, get chapters organized and print the thing out in book form *squeals*

- try to see the bright side in taking pics of snow (when it does rly come) and embrace it for pics

- finish ALL Christmas shopping (almost done already) and package and send out gifts to friends

- update my friends page which is in dire need of such mentioned

- write one poem and force myself not to hate it lol

well guys, what do you think of my new 'monthly update' thing? xD
how is your christmas shopping going?

deep thoughts from on top of my dads truck || stars

Friday, November 18, 2016

yes the moon looks like a jellybean i know

no these pics are not from this day--i actually took these another day and actually found a way to use them on here lol

I lost the round of hide and seek (PLAYING IN THE MOONLIGHT IS EPIC PLZ DO IT) so after wandering around in the dark I hopped onto my dad's pickup truck and laid down on the truck beds cover.

let me tell you, I was glad I lost the game of hide and seek. yes it was cold but, those stars. like, so amazing. Like remember those cold nights when you would press your forehead against the window in the car as you drive, and watch the stars go by and think the moon is chasing you (oh and when Julia and I would compete in who could hold their hand to the icy window pane the longest..) *whispers* we have always been competitive..

but back to stars. it was like when I went to the dunes--like, how you could sense the wideness and roundness of it all. when I laid on top of that truck my face was to the stars and that's all I saw. it's so amazing. you don't even speak and you wonder why you have missed so many nights of those wonderful stargazing times when God has put that wonderful show right over your head. a show that never gets old and will never stop taking your breath away.

when you look up at those stars, suddenly you feel so small. so minimal and yet, somehow, you are important in God's eyes. we are a spec in that galaxy above our heads and who knows what beyond--and yet we seem to always forget that. forget how small we are and how much God has done for me and you. He saved us. He died for us. He gave us life.

it's so incomprehensible. so awesome.

have you ever stargazed?
on a side note, did you see the supermoon?

spilling writing secrets || this thing is like 75k

Sunday, November 13, 2016

like i dont even remember what we were doing here lol

^^hannah and her sister came over and hung out  like a week or two ago aaaanddd I'm finally getting around to posting these pics *ducks* hahaaa

Hannah and I talked a ton about writing when she was over and I literally spilled so many of my books secrets (don't even try and ask her she is sworn to secrecy *glares at Hannah* dont), we did a full out photoshoot, and theeennnn I introduced her to her first chaider *wants chaider now*

nano is going really great--I have written as much yet as that first day but I'm cool with that. ohmygoodness I just realized something. so like, I planned on finishing my book in 30k and I'm already 24k+ into that and not nearly done. WHOOPS. is this book ever going to end or what. it's like 75k. this thing could end up rrrlllyyyyy long. O.o

okay so Hannah literally finished her 60k book during the first few days of nano and then BOOM. she starts a new book. HOW EPIC IS THAT #shetotallyrocks #icouldnotdothat

really--I'm actually excited to finish this book bc I'm going to print out my own hand held copy EEP. I've been playing around with my cover and once I get it printed I'll totally show it to you all! yes I know it's totally unedited--the reason I'm doing if because I find that you always lose the first draft in editing--once I edit this thing I will most definitely print out the edited copy as well so I can have both.

btw congrats to Katie, and also Mary for reaching 50k in like the first week or so of nano. like, WAHT. (and yes, we did get into Mary's blog and posted a huge collab of celebration yup we did)

well, I'm off. I will add that thanksgiving is in less than two weeks. FOOOODDDDDD. hahahaa

do you plan on printing out your book for yourself at some point?
are you looking forward to thanksgiving??

journey before destination || walking in the fog

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

I've always wanted to walk in fog. kinda one of those things in my imaginary bucket list--I've done it a couple times but never in a fog as thick as this one.

it's like a layer of creamy gloss that covers your eyes--it surrounds you, and your ears almost feel clogged with it. and, if you are like me, and only used time to grab your camera (pssshhh forget about shoes) then you also feel the wet dew on your toes as you walk through the grass. it's actually really amazing and, oddly, quietly peaceful. like, I'd like to get a hammock and lie out there amidst the fog. plz.

it's funny. some things are just as you imagined them--and others, well, the best part was anticipating and dreaming of it. things aren't always what we imagine--but if we allow God to lead us wherever He leads us, we'll soon learn to love the journey, and not just anticipating the destination and being dissatisfied with were we are. right now. not where we'll be in a years, months, or even tomorrow.

it's not like we are always going to be perfectly content--of course not--but that doesn't mean we shouldn't strive to follow The Lord and be satisfied with our journey He's prepared for us.

I rly don't know where this came from but maybe one of you needed to hear it, or maybe I need it. all I know is, God's got His plan for you and me. He's got this.

can you relate?
have you ever walked in a really thick fog?
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