25 Goals: Third Quarter Update + “Rock Your 2017 Goals” Workbook

How are we midway through 2017? I swear there was snow on the ground just yesterday! But this is by far my favorite time of the year. I love the warm weather, afternoons spent our sides, Alan grilling (with the added bonus of me not having to cook!), and all the other wonderful things that go along with summer. I've actually made a lot of progress on my goals! There are only three that I haven't completed. That's a little early for this point in the year, so next year, I'll have to go harder on myself. It's such a hard task to find goals that are both accomplishable in one year, but also challenging enough. How about you? How [...]

The Importance of Dreaming Big

Originally published as a guest post on Talk Less, Say More. “I want to be a doctor, a ballerina, and a house-builder.” At my kindergarten graduation, this was my answer to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” As kids, we know how to dream big, don’t we? But it seems like somewhere along the way between high school and college and needing a job that will pay the rent, we seem to forget those big dream. Instead of setting our eyes on the horizon, we set our eyes on the weekend to the time when we can binge-watch our current Netflix obsession. Don’t get me wrong, we need time to relax and unwind. But [...]

Book Launch Breakdown

So before I launched my first novel, Sketchy Tacos, I had no idea what went into a book launch. For a long time, I harbored visions of the good old days when all an author had to do was write the book. Then the publishing machine would take the pretty book and get it out into the world. That vision is no longer reality. In addition to an author, a writer now much also be a publicist, marketer, and amateur web designer to name a few. So once the book is written, the work has only just begun. Three months of prep went into the book launch. To get my full launch plan enter your email below (or click here [...]

Sketchy Tacos Launch Day Celebration!

I can't believe launch day for Sketchy Tacos is finally here! I'm beyond excited!!! It's been a long and incredible journey, and I have so many people to thank for this day--which is a dream come true. Almost 4 years ago, I won the Hutton Honors College's Creative Activity Grant, which provided this poor little college girl with the funds I needed to travel Mexico to research this book. In the summer of 2013, I wrote the first draft of Sketchy Tacos. My aunt Sara Grant was writing a draft of her own at the time and we traded manuscripts every two weeks to get fresh eyes and feed back. For the next two years, I edited and rewrote Sketchy [...]

By | 2017-02-06T17:44:50+00:00 February 7th, 2017|Books, Encouragement, Goals, My Journey, Travel|7 Comments

An Inside Scoop on Sketchy Tacos: My Year in Mexico

My YA travel novel, Sketchy Tacos, has been four years in the making, and it's now available for pre-order on Amazon. I could not be more excited! In honor of Sketchy Tacos' release next week, I want to share with you about the year I spent in Mexico. Get the inside scoop on the story behind the novel! I married my husband, Alan, on May 11, 2013, and the next day we traveled to Mexico. We spent a four days at Secret's Silver Sands halfway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. It really was a slice of paradise. It was the perfect getaway for our honeymoon since we had a short time and just wanted to enjoy each other and relax. [...]

By | 2017-04-06T11:52:57+00:00 January 31st, 2017|My Journey, Relationships, Travel|2 Comments

Adventures and Victories Week 11

Another crazy week under my belt in this new year. Tell me, is the weather as crazy where you are as it is here? We’ve been rocketing back and forth between 30 and 60 degrees since Christmas. My poor head is begging for a stable climate! Oh well. On to this week’s adventures and victories. Minor Victory: I created a new bullet journal design for my daily page. It's simpler and so much faster to create. I love making fancy pages when I have time, but too often I don't. I'm loving this new super simple page since it works the exactly the same as my fancier page. If you're interested in bullet journals--which I love because I can track my ENTIRE [...]

Adventures and Victories Week 9

Hi everyone! How are you doing this fine Friday? It's been a busy week for me, but a good one. If you're a regular reader, you'll know that I'm ramping up for the launch of Sketchy Tacos--my YA travel novel that will be released on February 7. I am beginning my SHOUTING FROM THE ROOFTOP phase. Because I'm super excited... so excited that I might have gone a little overboard on the creation of merchandise front--not to sell, just for me :). Be sure to check out my Instagram page. They can print on all sorts of things now. It's pretty cool. Vicarious Adventure: This week I've really been enjoying There You'll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones. It's been a [...]

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

So the 12-days in Europe backpacking extravaganza (check out my posts on Munich, Venice, Sienna, and Rome Part 1 or Part 2) is the thing daydreams are made of. What you may not know is that this was our vacation in the midst of a 10-week assignment in Europe for my husband's job. Being the writer/blogger/editor that I am, I stepped outside my Indiana comfort zone and tagged along for the entire trip. Now, I understand that 10 weeks in Europe sounds gloriously adventurous--and it is in many ways. But it's a whole other animal when you're there to work. There was one stretch of four days where I never left the hotel. Not kidding. Not even to eat. I had peanut [...]

Adventures and Victories Week 5

Hello! And welcome back to Adventures and Victories Week 5! I can't believe we're already five weeks into this little experiment on the adventurous mindset. And guess what? It's working! Looking for the little things in my day and realizing that they're adventures and victories instead of just little checks off my list has made a huge difference in my attitude and my mood. Have you tried it out yet? Adventure: I'm taking a new course: List Surge by Melissa Griffin. Man, this course is kicking my butt! It's taking a lot of time to implement the suggestions she makes in this course, but I can already see a difference! Victory: This week's post 25 Goals First Quarter Update and [...]

By | 2016-12-15T11:21:21+00:00 December 16th, 2016|Books, Education, Everyday Adventures, Goals, My Journey|2 Comments

Not My Story: Author vs. Character

My first novel, Sketchy Tacos, is coming out on Feb. 7! This has been a three-year-long passion project of mine. Ever since I traveled to Mexico for the first time, I knew I had to write a book set there. The world of Mexico was so different from the stereotypes I'd heard. It was beautiful and vibrant, full of life and culture. And I just had to share. But the moment I tell people that the book is about a sheltered, Indiana teen traveling to Mexico for the first time, they say, "So it's about you, right?" The answer is a resounding, no. I am not my novel. Sure, Mila and I share some characteristics, but I am not her, and [...]

By | 2016-11-21T16:45:28+00:00 November 23rd, 2016|Character Development, My Journey|6 Comments