Wednesday, September 24, 2014

How I Art/Bullet/Smash and NaNowrimo Journal

Happy Fall Everyone! I am beyond stoked that my favorite season has finally arrived! Ahhhh! Pumpkins, sweet potato pies, knee boots, cardigans! Well, it may be a few more weeks before I get to boots and cardi's here in South Georgia, but wishful thinking right?

Anywho, I always get this renewed sense of purpose when fall hits.  I think it has something to do with the fact that I think I was a witch in a past life of science fiction, and my novel (that I have been writing for 5 years, but semi seriously for 2 years) is centered around a witch.  As a result of my surge in motivation, I've captured a few of my most recent journaling pages.

I get a lot of questions about what I do and how I journal, but honestly, my goal is "get it on the paper". If you are someone who is a journal/stationary enthusiast like I am, you love a new journal but you hate (and are a little intimidated) by The Dreaded Blank Page. When you open that journal to feel those sexy pages, smell that parchment (because this is 1640 and I'm fancy), and imagine all the sheer creative ingenuity that will fill the page from margin to margin.

The brilliant literary prose.

The beautifully smashed pages.

The colorful art journaling.

Yes, you are just know your are going to have an epic piece in front of you. And that feeling last for about 10 seconds.  Just long enough for you to think to yourself

"What the hell am I going to do"

It can be a deafening thought, a blank page. But here are some things you can do to get out of that creativity block (what I do anyway!). Below you will find my Daily which is a soft cover moleskine square notebook.

  • Subscribe to word of the day and write them down. This is especially helpful if you fancy yourself a writer like I do.
  • Get lost in the world of sticky notes on Ebay. They are usually no more than $2.00 with free shipping.
  • Go washi crazy. If you are a journaler...nuff said
  • Join Goodreads and get their quote of the day sent to your email.
  • Zendoodle
  • Picture journal instead of using words.
  • More washi tape, stickers, and sticky notes

  • Bullet journal. I couldnt commit to the plain style of bullet journaling but I like it so I still use it in my Daily.
  • Write down TV shows you want to see or books you want to read, or songs you want to download. Some people just create an entire page for this. I don't. I like to just go with the flow, and I don't like waiting for pages to fill up.
  • Do a quick journal of your day or what is going on. Sometimes I have things I want to say and I don't feel like smashing or dumping, I just want to I do.
  • Don't be restricted to 1/2 page or 1 whole page. Sometime I use a page, other times I have less time or less to say. Don't be specific AT ALL. This puts the creative process in a box.

  • I have an app called "Prompts" that I use to give me different ideas for things to write about. LOOOOVE it! It is my second most recommended after goodreads. 
  • Read lots and write quick review of something you loved.  I do this more in my writing insert rather than my Daily. (see below)
  • Try your hand (literally) at hand lettering. I am absolutely crap at it but I keep trying, I get better and better.
  • Add random stuff from your day like the coffee you tried.
  • Add pictures of yourself or anything else. I just recently printed a bunch of sticky back pictures of things that motivate me (examples on my writing insert below). I bought full sheets of label paper from walmart and printed pictures I stole from pinterest! Tutorial on that later!
  • And most importantly...JUST START

Above is the page I am currently working on. No rules, just get started! Trust me, that is the hardest part!

Here is just a quick shot of a few of my sticky notes. the more the merrier!

Well that is a pretty good chunk to get you on your way.  I would have added more pictures but this is a new Daily and I don't have much done yet. I promise to keep you posted on the daily

And this beauty...

This is my lovely NANOWRIMO insert for writing ideas and my novel research. This is a Moleskine Cahier Squared (sensing a pattern yet!?). The link will take you to my personal Nanowrimo page. I have avoided doing this for years because I just wasn't ready but I am going to give it my best shot.  I decorated the cover with a few pictures that motivate me and I have already been doing my planning. I also printed this nifty wrimo tracker from Ray Blake at My life in one place.   And while I have high hopes, I definitely know I wont finish in 1 month, but the push is a welcome change of pace.  Besides, who can write in the summer anyway :)

I hope you enjoyed this post and got something good out of it. If you take any of my advice and just basically love all over that blank page, please put a link in the comment section so I can check it out.

How do you Journal? Any extra tips?
Are you doing Nanowrimo?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Eats and Treats

Happy Hump day! Today is going to be a great day! Today is going to be a great day! If I keep saying it it will come true right!? Yesterday I wanted to slap every single person in the face.  That's every person in the entire world if you were confused.  That's where I was.  But today I found that those emotions were all thanks to TOM. Way to go TOM, always a pleasure to have you come to visit.  Anywho, I thought I'd share my eats as of late.  As you can see, they are all pretty simple and revolve around fruits and veg...AND CHEESE!! Omg, I have been eating so much stinking cheese.  Me and the queso section of Publix are such great friends- and by friends, I mean Frienemies.

I go through about a pound of cheese a week.  No shit, really. The hubs doesn't even get a chance to hit that up.  Hey, you snooze you lose! This week's selection is the smoked Gruyere and the horseradish cheddar.  Last week was 3 pepper Gouda, and Cream Havarti.  I can live off of cheese.  I make myself feel better by saying that its better than french fries, chips and candy... but is it Shaina, Is it?

I've been eating mostly salad and things that I know will go right through me.  My meals have been so weird some days.  I'll have cheese (of course), fruit, meat, and pickles.  People have wondered if I'm pregnant (and on that note, maybe Tom isn't so bad!). But I'm always satisfied.  After that sugar and white carb free diet, my pallet has definitely changed.  I went to Red Lobster for my birthday (Which was on September 1st so happy bday to me!) and I absolutely hated the food.  It was over saturated and just too much.  I asked for my salad on the side, I guess they thought that meant to drench my lettuce in this mayonnaise like dressing. Urgh, but that has just made me choose to eat more good stuff at home.  I made this creamy chicken soup yesterday! O...M...Stomach, it was the best ever.  Recipe on it's way for that!

And I've been expanding my reading genres.  I got into this Vampire book rut that I had to get out of.  I am doing more and more research for my novel and it wont include vampires. Well it might, but just that they exist in the world that my main character lives in.  That's about it. I really need to work on my plot outline but it is so hard to settle on what I want.  It's crazy that I wirte so much better and have more ideas when I am traveling.  I think its the feeling of stagnation that makes me get writers block, and being in a cycle of work, eat healthy, work, exercise, work, clean up, work, maybe hit the movies, work, watch netflix- it gets monotonous and harder to find a literary muse.  But I will make it happen.  I'm off to write while I am inspired!

What are you currently reading? 

Playing with Tigers and Fall Candle Haul

Today my hubby surprised me with a trip to an animal reserve about an hour away from where we live.  I absolutely love animals but I do hate to see them in cages.  My honey knows this, so he took me to a place where they rescued lots of babies. 

We started the day at a local restaurant called The Egg and I and had some fabulous breakfast.  I had a garden omelet, lots of coffee, some potatoes, and I opted for a fresh fruit bowl instead of toast. It was very good.  I can't believe we have only just tried it after being here for 5 months. After that, we jumped in the car and rode for an hour while I tried it think of every possible place we could be going. And I never figured we were going to see rescue animals and donate to taking care of them. What could be a better birthday gift?   We learned about their stories and how they came to be at the reserve.  I was so heartbroken. Especially when I heard how mistreated the bear was.  Her finger tips were cut off and she was trained using only negative reinforcement. But the bear has been loved on and treated with care for the past 2 years and she is responding to caretakers in a nicer way. All of the feels were happening to me. 

My bear friend eating crackers. 

It was a great time. I wish I could have hugged them all! I doubt I would have walked away looking the same though lol. If you'd like to donate, please go to

And even though fall is no where in sight in South Georgia, that doesn't mean I can't get started with my fall candles.

I don't even know if you can call this a haul.  It's kind of tiny, but to be fair, I still have SO many candles from the semi annual sale in June, I shouldn't have even gone.  But I can never resist the 2 for 22 sale on candles.  The Sea Salt and maple popcorn is a strong smell, very similar to Summer Boardwalk (which is what I went in there to buy in the first place, but apparently the name should have clued me in!). You can really get a whiff of the maple popcorn with this one.  Its so fall.  I just wish it was cold! The Autumn sky smells a lot like toned down teakwood.  It's still reminiscent of men's cologne, but not as strong. Makes me want to light a fire and roast some marshmallows! 

That's about it for my day. It was all the way fabulous and it ended with me taking my hair out of all those braids! Why do I even do that to myself lol!