Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Creating Pins

I recently took a webinar on creating pins for Pinterest. I didn't even know you could make your own pins! As I listened to the hostess, I couldn't believe this wasn't something I've been doing all along. Since I found Canva several months ago, I've been creating my own posts. You may have seen several of them on Facebook and Instagram. But I never knew I could create pins! How fun.

Now, I won't lie. It is a bit tricky to figure out exactly how to pin them properly, but I learn as I go. I created my first pin to advertise my newsletter to new and future readers. I created what I wanted on Canva, went to my Pinterest account, selected "upload an image" from the Pin icon, and selected the image. Now, here's what threw me: When I selected "view pin," I saw a blank pin. But, now I know to refresh the page and I'll see my latest creation. I then, added the URL I wanted the pin to link to. It's so much fun!

Here are a few tips I learned about creating pins from the webinar:

  • Choose the type of headline you want to use
  • Choose the image format you want to use
  • When creating product pins (these are what I create), pick your layout, add a human element, add an inspirational quote, demonstrate how the product can be used.
  • Think outside the box.
Here are the two pins I've created so far:

If you're interested in learning more about creating pins, check out the webinar.

Have you created your own pins? I'd love to see them! Post them in the comments, and I'll give them a like.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016


Several months ago, I discovered a wonderful new online site/app called Grammarly. If you're not familiar with it, Grammarly works with all of your online content, whether it's a blog post, social media update, email, or shared document. As you type, the app will show you when you've made a grammar or spelling error. It's a wonderful tool to use for all of your posts to help them look clean and neat.

You can sign up for the free editor and browser extension which corrects over 150 types of errors. There's an online community to ask and answer questions about English writing, a handbook with grammar and style explanations, an online dictionary and thesaurus, and, of course, a Facebook community, Twitter page, and blog. So many places to get the help you need when creating your content!

Then, there's Grammarly Premium. This paid upgrade looks for over 250 grammatical errors, includes suggestions to enhance your vocabulary, detects plagiarism, and provides citation suggestions. This is a great package for students because you can even use it on your Word docs. There are three payment plans to choose from to help find the best one for your budget.

Check out the different packages Grammarly offers and find the right one for you.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Great Blog for College Students

I recently discovered a blog for college students, and I'm really enjoying the information it provides. As Life Grows  provides great information for college Freshman about college life, relationships, and favorite things. The website has courses you can sign up for as well to help prepare you for your freshman year and get through it with ease. Right now Samantha Kearns, the blogger, is offering a preparation class for freshman students who are starting in the fall called "Launch into Freshman Year." 

Of course, you don't have to sign up for the courses. They are a bonus of the website if you feel you want to take them. But there's plenty of free information, as well. Take a look at the posts and you'll get an idea if the blog is right for you. You can sign up to receive Samantha's newsletter, which provides more tips and tricks. She has put a lot of thought into the information she provides, and I think it's a great resource.

While you're touring the blog, be sure to register to receive free printables, including an ebook, organization tips, studying tips, and so much more. 

I love researching blogs for my readers, and I hope you enjoy As Life Grows. Let me know if you check it out, and if it's useful to you.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Bullet Journaling

I've recently discovered the art of bullet journaling. Basically, it's a daily, weekly, and/or monthly journal where you write down anything you need to keep track of over time. You can use it for your daily schedule, meal plans, track appointments, birthdays... The sky is the limit!

It took me a few days to put one together that works for me. While in the creative process, I kept going back-and-forth as to whether I really wanted to keep one or not. I was trying to make it much more difficult than it had to be.

Finally, I just decided to keep it simple. One page per day with everything I wanted/needed to do that day, split up into sections. I used a different colored pen for each section to keep it organized and make it pretty.

For now, my one-page-per-day is perfect for me. As time goes by, I can add more information, or even more sections. I can also see myself getting a bit more creative with colors, stencils and stickers. Oh, what fun!

Is bullet journaling right for you? Check out Sarah's Chapter blog post on starting a bullet journal to find out, and get some great tips on putting one together. Enjoy!

Do you have a BuJo? Post a pic in the comments.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Book Release | Delivered by Angels by Emerald Barnes

Delivered by Angels
by Emerald Barnes

Determined to escape her abusive father and drunken mother, Lexi Johnson turns to the blade to numb her pain, but it isn’t enough to end her misery. She’s convinced that not even God could save her now.

Roxy Taylor is the new girl in town, and Lexi doesn’t trust her, especially when she teams up with DJ Tucker to try and break down the barriers that Lexi has put in place.

Little does Lexi know, there are greater forces battling for her life, and as Lexi begins to open up to both Roxy and DJ, she’ll see that she isn’t alone in this world.

In the heart-pounding sequel to Entertaining Angels, everyone’s favorite angel, Zach Taylor, is back, and he’s there to make sure that Madison and Chase Sanders are on the path that God has chosen for them, a path that could deliver Lexi from the demons who want her soul.

Purchase Delivered by Angels on Amazon today, available through Kindle Unlimited as well! 

From Emerald

As teens, it’s easy to feel alone and unloved, and so often, that can lead down dangerous paths. It’s easy to want to fit in, to make sure that you’re popular or whatever. But the best advice I can give you is to be yourself. Be true to who you are as a person. And if you do feel unloved and alone, know that you aren’t alone and that you are loved!

I wrote a book, Delivered by Angels, to show others that God loves them and that He would do anything to show others that love. And that’s what I hope you know. That even when you feel at your lowest, there is always someone who loves you.

As a teen, I know that I felt unloved. I felt like such a loser. I had friends, and I was semi-popular, but I wasn’t blind to the mocking of my peers behind my back. I was never good enough for the people I went to school with, and I have lived with that to this day. (I’m about to turn 29.) It’s hard, especially as a kid, and there are people who deal with similar pain, bullying, and more, such as abuse, on a daily basis. There are kids who have to live with things they shouldn’t have to, and it’s not easy on them. They don’t know how to escape their pain.

I’m not saying I have the magical cure. I don’t. Even as a Christian, I know that life isn’t all rainbows, but I do know that I don’t want people hurting. I encourage anyone going through difficult times to talk to someone, even if it’s finding a support group or counselor. You don’t have to do this alone. There are people who will be happy to talk to you.

Take it from me, I bottled in most of my emotions. I didn’t like talking about the things that bothered me, and it wasn’t good. I should have talked more, opened up, trusted more people because I wasn’t alone. I had family who loved me, and they would have done anything to help me. There are people who feel that way about you, even when you don’t think that’s true.

You are not alone. Whatever you’re going through, know that God loves you, and He is there for you no matter what.

If you need to talk about something, or just want prayer, you can message me through the prayer request page on my website.

About Emerald Barnes:

Emerald Barnes graduated with a B.A. in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing at Mississippi University for Women. She resides in a small town in Mississippi and has the accent to prove it. She’s an auntie, a Whovian, a little bit of a nerd, a reader, a writer, and a family-oriented person. God is number one in her life, and she thanks Him continuously for His love and favor.

Connect with Emerald online:

Twitter: @emeraldbarnes
Pinterest: Emerald Barnes


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Book Review | A Charming Ghost by Tonya Kappes

A Charming Ghost (Magical Cures Mystery, #8)A Charming Ghost by Tonya Kappes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I always love reading about June's new adventure, and this one had a double dose. There was a new murder mystery to be solved, of course, but the mystery of the ghost boy from A Charming Death (do us part) was also explored. June had a lot of running around to do in this book, which allowed readers to get a wonderful look at Whispering Falls.

I loved watching June solve two puzzles at once, and even getting a chance to look back on her past while doing so. I can't wait for the next one!

View all my reviews