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

Grammarly



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


Email: emerald_barnes@yahoo.com




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

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Morning Light



My husband was running late this morning and asked me if I minded making his breakfast. It was just after 7 am, and though that is extremely early for me (I usually sleep 'til 11), I didn't mind getting up to help. I let the pups out the back door and discovered the beautiful morning. The sun was out, the sky was a beautiful blue and there were no clouds. A perfect morning.

So perfect that I decided to stay up. I sat quietly on the couch with a cup of coffee, grabbed my iPhone and began playing with my apps. When I got to Pinterest, I found several quotes to pin to Spoken from My Open Heart. When I was done pinning, I looked at the board and enjoyed the mix of quotes, stories and pictures I've collected over the last four months since starting the board. I was really happy with what I saw.

It's amazing how relaxing and inspiring it can be to get up earlier than normal. The quiet and the view make it a peaceful way to start the day. Try it sometime!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Book Review | A Charming Death (do us part) by Tonya Kappes

A Charming Death (do us part) (Magical Cures Mystery #7.5)A Charming Death (do us part) by Tonya Kappes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this novelette in which Oscar and June finally got married! There was just enough of a mystery to whet my appetite for the next book, but it was the beautiful wedding storyline I enjoyed most. I've been rooting for this couple for what feels like years, and I'm so happy they are finally married! This book was a wonderful mix of mystery and romance, which was just what I needed to get me back to reading.

View all my reviews

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Why Bother?



Earlier today, I was cleaning my kitchen, again. It seems every time I think it's clean, suddenly more dishes stack up and the counters are full of crumbs again. The same thing happens in the bathroom: I clean it, only to see soap scum build up quickly, water all over the counter, and hair all over the floor. Why bother?! It takes a lot of my energy to clean up just one or two things around the house, and I always have to rest afterward. So when I see that it doesn't last long, I get so frustrated. And it's not because I have a messy household. My husband and I do the best to clean up behind ourselves, and there are no kids making their own mess. It's just life. Life is messy. And you have to deal with it.

But I don't always feel like dealing with it. For the past several months, I've been feeling tired, depressed, and stressed out. I have no idea why. I keep trying to think of why, but I don't come up with any answers. I think maybe it's from not getting any work done. I haven't touched my draft in months. But when I think about picking it up to work on, my stress increases. It seems my body and mind just want a break. Which is OK, but it still bothers me. Why? I don't have a clue.

Do you ever get the moody blues and don't know why? What do you do to figure out the problem and fix it? Me, I try to write a list of what's bothering me, even if it takes me a while to come with something, and even if that something is ludicrous. Right now, it's that I'm bored. I'm bored with writing, frustrated even. Yes, I want to finish my book. but I know when I do, I have a lot of work coming for editing and formatting it for publication. Yikes! That just freaks me out right now. So, instead, I do nothing. And nothing seems to make things worse. And so it's an endless cycle. 

What I really want to do is find another hobby that will fill my soul while I take a break from my writing. But I have no idea what to do. So, I thought I'd ask you. What are your hobbies? What would you suggest I do to get my creative energy flowing again? Thanks in advance for your help!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Book Review | The Stone Key by Natasha Brown

The Stone KeyThe Stone Key by Natasha Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Nimrod and Pepper's second adventure was even more incredible than their first! When I met them in The Novel Adventures of Nimrod Vale Book 1, I got to know Nimrod fairly well. But I feel like I got to know Pepper a lot better in this adventure, and I love her! The two make an incredible pair.

The second adventure was more thrilling than the first. The world they find and explore is so imaginative and beautiful. The author used a lot of scientific words and phrases to discuss events and clues they were following, but I found myself following along very easily, and even trying to guess at things here and there. I loved it!

The secondary story, which of course is Nim and Pepper's actual lives, focused more on Pepper this time, which is why I feel I know her so much better. There is so much more to her character than I realized. I'm so glad it was included in this story. I hope both Nim and Pepper's characters continue to grow with each new adventure they take.



View all my reviews

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Come Celebrate!



Are you looking for a new book website? Well, stop looking. YA Insider has officially opened!

This website has "the inside scoop on YA books." You'll meet new authors, discover great books, read and post reviews, and share your love  of YA. During the month of May, YA Insider is celebrating their Grand Opening with a month-long party and giveaway. Each day, you'll have a chance to answer questions from participating authors, including Moi, for a chance at winning one of their books. There's also a Rafflecopter with plenty of chances to enter to win the big prize: a $20 Amazon gift card!

So stop by, look around, and enter the sweepstakes. Check out new releases, and learn how to post your own reviews. Have fun!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Finding the Human Spirit



I found a link to an amazing article on FB today. My cousin works for a company called Growing Bolder. Growing Bolder is, "An attitude. A mission. A passion. A team of people who believe in the power of hope, inspiration and possibility." Over the last several years, I have seen them do amazing work, sharing wonderful stories about people and humanity, and how much the human spirit can affect everyone around you.

Today's FB link led to a guest blog post on Growing Bolder's site written by a follower who is working hard to get back into shape. She joined a gym based on raving reviews of one of the spinning instructors, Kris Shanahan. She raves about how wonderful Kris is as an instructor, and how much better she feels after working with her for a while.

But the article isn't about the blogger's journey with Kris. It's about Kris' journey. She has overcome some very hard obstacles in her life and has worked hard to get through them. During her journey, she was able to use her story to inspire others. Take a look at the article. It's beautifully written and very inspirational.

I love hearing stories like this. One of the main reasons I wrote My Open Heart was to inspire my readers who are growing up with heart disease or other chronic illnesses. I never realized how much hearing back from some of them would inspire me. Once again, it's the mystery of the human spirit.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Book Review | The One by Kiera Cass

The One (The Selection, #3)The One by Kiera Cass
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What an amazing ending to this epic trilogy! I loved The Selection series, and how it built up to The Elite, and finally The One. There were so many twists, turns and turmoil throughout the storyline, and it kept it moving right along.

Things really heated up in The One, as not only relationships between Prince Maxon and the four remaining Elite heated up, but things really heated up in the world around them. I had no idea how much of a political thriller this series would become, and the author did an amazing job of tying the two storylines together. The One was so much more emotional than the rest of the series, and I found myself in tears in a few places.

This series has been a wonderful adventure to take, and the characters will always remain close to my heart. I look forward to reading more about them in the next part of the storyline. Kiera Cass is definitely an author on my TBR list now!


View all my reviews

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Inspiration



I found some cute dragon pictures while pinning today, and decided to look the artist up. Randal Spangler does beautifully animated fantasy paintings! His work is truly inspiring, and I will definitely be visiting his website often for inspiration.

Inspiration comes from a variety of sources: art, music, movies, TV.... When I need to feel inspired, I know I have several sources I can tap. I often find myself needing some inspiration when I'm feeling down or tired, unsure of what to do next, or feel blocked in my writing. This is very frustrating, and I often just walk away and hide.

But I'm really trying to break this pattern, and I'm hoping some inspiration will help me do that. So, thank you, Mr. Spangler, for your help.

Where do you find your inspiration?


Friday, April 8, 2016

Spread Some Indie Love Contest Winner


Hello readers. I hope you all enjoyed the blog hop. The giveaway officially ended yesterday, and I have selected a winner today:

Stella Eromonsere-Ajanaku! Congratulations!

I will be in touch via email regarding you free eBook.

Thank you everyone who stopped by during the hop. I hope you enjoyed my new blog for teens, and will be back to see my future posts.

Reach for the stars, and make your dreams come true.

-Andrea

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Welcome Spring



At last! We had a beautiful spring day today. The temp even got up to 81 degrees! I sat on the back porch for hours, enjoying the sunshine and fresh air. It felt great. Spring is my awakening season, and it feels great to be awake.

I don't know how long it will last right now. I can't wait until we have several days like this back-to-back. We have so many great outdoor activities I'm looking forward to, especially visiting the Arboretum. I love strolling around and looking at the fresh blooms.

What's your favorite part of Spring? Has Spring sprung by you yet?

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Spread Some Indie Love Blog Hop

Spread Some Indie Love Blog Hop 2016
31st March to 7th April

Welcome to the 2016 Spread Some Indie Love Blog Hop! I have been an Indie author for over 5 years, and I love it! I love the freedom it gives me to write what and when I want to write, set up my own publishing schedule and design my books the way I want them to look. It has been one of the greatest accomplishments of my life.

Another benefit I love about being an Indie author is meeting other Indie authors and reading their work. One of my favorite YA Indie authors I have gotten to know over the years is Natasha Brown. Natasha has written one of my favorite series: The Shapeshifter Chronicles.




The series features an eighteen-year-old girl who is growing up with heart disease, just like me. When she moves to a new town, she meets Chance, and her life is changed forever. I love this incredible YA fantasy series. Be sure to check out all of Natasha's books, including the first book in her second series.

Natasha also designs book covers, and has designed the beautiful covers of three of my books:

Destiny



Fate



My Open Heart







I am giving away a free eCopy of one of my books, winner's choice. Comment below the name and author of your favorite YA book or series. Winner will be selected after the hop.

Thank you for stopping by, and enjoy the rest of the hop!



Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wordless Wednesday

Today, I'm displaying some wonderful artwork by author Sheenah Freitas.












If you'd like to showcase your drawings for Wordless Wednesday, let me know!



foxyform

Sunday, March 27, 2016

School Supplies



I don't really know why, but I love school supplies! I always have. Lately, I've had the urge to head to Target and stock up. Perhaps it's knowing that Spring will be arriving soon, and I'll coming out of my hibernation stage I always go into in the Winter. It's my time to stock up on the gear I need (ok, want) and get back to work.

So, in lieu of going shopping, I've been window shopping on, where else, Pinterest. Can you tell by now how much I love this app? I've been browsing and pinning, making my virtual list of wants for when it is time to go shopping. But let's face it; when I'm finally set free in the store, I'll probably grab all the cool-looking gear, especially anything pink and purple.

Here's a look at my current shopping list:

Notepads
Post-its
Crayons
Colored pens
Paper clips in various colors

I think that's a good start. The real fun is when I'm standing in front of the school supplies aisle and start browsing.

What's on your typical school supply list?

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Building My Vocabulary



Today I'm posting a word that means something slightly different than I thought:

Emo

I thought this was slang for emotional, as in someone who is feeling a certain emotion, such as happy or sad, about a particular situation. But in looking it up, I see it means drama queen, which we know is not just about one particular emotion, but someone who is overly dramatic about everything that happens to them.

Have you ever had to deal with a drama queen? How did you handle it?

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Visiting Colleges



Spring break is coming, and a lot of high school seniors may take advantage of the week off to visit colleges. Selecting your college may be easier when you have a chance to scope it out first. Pinterest has several tips on what you should do, see and ask on your college tour:


  • Check out the dorms
  • Visit the student union
  • Pick up a copy of the newspaper
  • Talk to the students
  • Prepare a list of questions for your tour guide
Check out the pins for more ideas and several printable lists of questions. And don't forget to grab a t-shirt! Have fun, be safe.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Saturday Snack



One of my favorite appetizer's is Chili's Skillet Queso. I've always wanted to try it at home, but the closest I could get was mixing a can of chili with cubes of cheddar in a pot on the stove. Well, I just found this recipe from CopyKat Recipes and I realized what I was doing wrong. Can you find my mistake? I'll have to try it this way next time:



Ingredients

  • 1 (2-pound) block Velveeta cheese, diced
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans Hormel No-Bean Chili
  • Corn tortilla chips, for serving

Instructions

Heat the ingredients together in a saucepan over low heat until melted, stirring often, or in a slow cooker for a few hours. For the most accurate texture, you should puree the cooked sauce in a blender.

Serve with heated corn tortilla chips. If you want to serve this just like Chili’s, serve it in a warmed cast-iron skillet.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Blockbuster Summer

I just saw this awesome new preview for X-Men: Apocalypse


Amazing! And another reminder of how incredible this summer is going to be at the movies. Take a look!

May 6 Captain America: Civil War
May 27 X-Men: Apocalypse, Alice Through the Looking Glass
June 3 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
June 10 Warcraft
June 17 Finding Dory
June 24 Independence Day: Resurgence
July 1 The Legend of Tarzan
July 15 Ghostbusters
July 22 Star Trek Beyond
August 5 Suicide Squad
August 12 Pete's Dragon

In case you can't wait for me, take a look at what's coming out over the next 6 weeks:

March 18 The Divergent Series: Allegiant - Part 1
March 25 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
April 15 The Jungle Book
April 22 The Huntsman: Winter's War

Wow! What an incredible list this is! I cannot wait to start my blockbuster movie marathon.

What movies are you looking forward to? Did I miss one on your list? Comment below.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Pets

Our pets are our companions, our best friends, and our children. From the moment we meet them, a connection is made that won't ever break. Even on those occasions when we get really annoyed at something they've done, we still love them unconditionally. And they love us back the same.

I recently found a wonderful picture on Pinterest that also reminds me that when we lose our precious furry ones, they are still with us, and even still together themselves.

There is a doggy heaven: BJ and Cinnamon.

Cinnamon was my family dog from the time I was 12 until my mid-twenties. She was my best friend and was always there when I needed her. BJ was my husband's dog when we met, and he quickly adopted me as his mom. He was my first baby. We lost him several years ago. When I saw this picture of two dogs who look exactly like BJ (on the left) and Cinnamon, I caught my breath and my heart melted. Here are my two precious loves, who never knew each other, together. My heart told me they had found each other, and that all dogs really do go to Heaven.

I have two precious babies still with me, Wicket and Max.

Doggy bunk beds: Max on top, Wicket on bottom.

My girls are the most precious things in the world to me. Yes, they get into some trouble sometimes, but like all parents with kids, I have an unconditional love for them that will never go away. I know I probably only have a few precious years left with them, and I try not to think about that. But I love them every day, and I know when the time comes, as hard as it will be, I'll know that the love experienced will never go away, just as it hasn't with Cinnamon or BJ (whom I still see in my dreams).

Pets are precious, and we shouldn't take them for granted. We need to love them unconditionally, as they do with us, and enjoy all the time we have together.

If you have a pet, I'd love to see pictures. Share them in the comments below.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Building My Vocabulary



Here's another term I've actually used before: "I can't even." You know how you feel when something happens or someone says something that you just don't know how to reply to? The same things you would shake your head at and walk away from. Yup. "I can't even." I like this one.

Right now, I think the majority of time I use this term is listening to the mud slinging of the current political nominees. Wow. And how about when you have so many papers due, and suddenly, you're faced with a major test coming up, too. Ugh.

What are some of the things "you can't even?"

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Doldrums Zone



Do you feel down in the dumps sometimes? I've been going through a state of the doldrums the last couple of weeks, and I'm still crawling my way out of it. I hate feeling like this. It's so hard to get anything done, and lying around all day is no fun at all. I'm sure it's hard for you when you have to get up, go to school, do your homework, etc., etc, etc. So much to do, no willpower to do it.

So we need to find ways to get ourselves out of the doldrums and feel better. Only then will we be able to get back to living our lives to the fullest, and, let's face it, our lives are worth living!

So, for starters, make sure to avoid these four health mistakes that can cause you to enter the doldrums stage and keep you there for days on end. Try talking to a friend or family member to see if you can pinpoint what's causing you to feel so down. If you're not comfortable talking to someone right now, try journaling. Just write whatever comes to you. In time, you'll probably find that anything that's bothering you will turn up in your words.

Realize that you may just be dealing with hormones, and it may take a while for everything to shift back to normal. There doesn't always have to be a fixable cause to feeling down. You may just have to deal with it for a while. It sucks, but that's a fact of life.

Next time you feel down in the dumps, treat yourself right, eat properly, try to move around a bit, relax, rest as much as you can, and do some activities you love. You'll feel better soon.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Saturday Snack



Do you like shrimp? How about pasta? Then this quick meal is perfect for you!

You'll need:

Linguine
3/4 cup Italian dressing
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 lb. shrimp
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Cook pasta as directed
Meanwhile, heat 1/2 cup of the dressing in large skillet on medium heat
Stir in mushrooms & onions
Cook 3 mins., or until onions are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally
Add shrimp, stir
Cook 2 mins., or until shrimp are pink & vegetables are tender
Stir occasionally
Drain pasta & add to skillet
Add remaining dressing; toss lightly
Sprinkle with cheese


This is an easy meal to make for group hangouts over the weekend. There's plenty for everyone. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Building My Vocabulary



It's Thursday! That means it's time for another teen term. Today, I've selected one I've heard a few times and was pretty sure I understood based on the word itself. Guess, what? I was right!

Cray-Cray - Crazy

This is an easy one, but another one I love. It can get a little boring to say, "Wow, she/he's crazy," all the time. Instead, you can just look at your friends, gesture to whom you're referring to and say "cray-cray." Love it!

What are you fave teen terms you and your friends use? I'd love to hear more!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning came early at my house last week. In addition to cleaning everything, we rearranged some of the furniture, too.


We moved our dining room table out because we never use it, and put bookshelves in its place. Now, we have much-needed extra storage.


We moved the dining table to the bedroom, and now it's my craft/writing table. I love having a secondary, quiet spot that's all mine!


Now that I am able to store more items on the bookcases, my desk is much neater and more organized. I love it!

Do you plan on doing any spring cleaning, or have you already? Tell me about your projects! Check out this Pinterest page for ideas for the home. There's a pin specifically to help teens get organized.


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Blizzard to Offer College Tuition in Online Tournaments

Gamescom 2009 - Blizzard Entertainment (5174)
© Raimond Spekking / , via Wikimedia Commons


This article about knocked my socks off. Have you seen it?

Apparently, Blizzard, you know, the creators of WoW and other MMORPGs, is offering students college tuition via three tournaments. According to Fortune magazine, Blizzard Entertainment is giving away $650,000 in college tuition this year as prizes for three of its popular eSports games: Hearthstone, StarCraft II and Heroes of the Storm.

I think this is really cool! College and college-bound students make up a large percentage of players of these games, paying monthly fees for each of the games they decide to play, and possibly more for in-game items and bit coins. I think it's incredible that Blizzard is giving back to their players by offering college tuition as prizes in their tournaments.


I've played WoW before, and understand how easy it is to get hooked on the games, and spend a lot of time bulding your character. But for me, there was always a "Now what?" feeling. I would build my character up, play some dungeons and feel like there was nothing else to do until the next expansion. But for players who enjoy continuing the game day after day, they have another great reason to keep going. Now, you can enjoy the games and work on earning your college tuition at the same time.

So, check out the details of the tournament and have fun! Just be sure to get off the games from time to time to study and spend time with family and friends.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Your Saturday Snack



I love mozzarella sticks, don't you? My favorite is from Denny's, so I was delighted when I found this recipe on Replica Recipes:

1/4 cup flour
1 cup bread crumbs
2 eggs
1 Tbsp milk
1 package mozzarella string cheese
2 cups oil

Place flour in one dish, bread crumbs in another
Whisk eggs & milk together
Coat cheese in flour, then egg, then bred crumbs
Repeat in egg and bread crumbs
Heat oil in skillet
Cook  1 minute or until golden on all sides

I don't use the sauce, but you may like to, so here you go:

For Marinara Sauce


  • 1 large (28oz) can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 or more cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp. basil
  • 1-1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. anise or fennel seeds (optional)

  1.  Heat oil; then lightly brown garlic.
  2. Add remaining ingredients.
  3. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Serve with mozzarella sticks or over your favorite pasta.

 Enjoy!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Pin of the Week

I have a lot of Pinterest boards and add new pins almost daily. This week, I've noticed a lot of my followers repinning this one:



It's a great pin for college students and college-bound students to help you make the most of your space, show off your style and make your room your own. Since there are some rules you have to follow when decorating your dorm, these tips will help you work around them so you can decorate how you like. Take a look. Enjoy!