MERRY & BRIGHT // Christmas phone wallpaper

Hi friends!
I made Christmas Wallpaper for you all.
Downloading instructions below the image.

Instructions for downloading this wallpaper:

From computer to phone:

Right click on the picture > Select "open in image in new tab" > Go to the tab and right click again, hit "save image as...", then save the image to your downloads > Go to your email! Attach the file from your downloads! > Pick up your phone and go to your email! > Save the attachment to your camera roll! > Go to camera roll and set this as your wallpaper or lock screen! Or both! Wha-la!

From phone (the simpler way):
*instructions for iPhones/iPods

Tap on the image to make it pop up in its own screen > Tap image again and hit "Save Image" > Go to your camera roll, select image > Set as your wallpaper or lock screen! Or both! Wha-la!


Christmas Originals on Etsy

Purchase these prints HERE!!

Hey friends! I'm selling just a few original watercolors before Christmas! If you'd check them out and give my shop a favorite, I'd be much obliged ;)

Merry Christmas!



give thanks in all things

"We ought to give thanks for all fortune: if it is good, because it is good; if bad, because it works in us patience, humility, contempt of this world and the hope of our eternal country."

• C.S. Lewis  

A lot has happened since last Thanksgiving. Life is much different now than it was a year ago. Forever reminding myself to give thanks in all things.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends.


THIS TIME LAST YEAR / pages I don't turn to anymore

(written October 31, 2016)


It was the last day of being home before we left for Virginia the next morning. My hair was longer. There was one less piercing in my ear. My skin wasn't as tough. I didn't cry as easily. My journal was empty. My suitcase was full. I didn't know what was to come. I didn't know what the next 5 months would hold, and what they would take away.

But today, a year later, I woke up in my own bed. The suitcases are in the attic and my clothes are in my closet. There's pages of my journal I don't turn to anymore. I went to college. Q and I celebrated 1 year + 5 months of dating.

Things are different this time, this year.

And I am grateful.



from a summer sunday afternoon, exploring.


"art is not what i create. what i create is chaos."

a photo set i had a little fun with recently.


TRAVEL DIARY - Homeward Bound

“That weird feeling you get when you are leaving a place, knowing it will probably be the last time you ever see it again. The last time that point in your life will ever be in the present. The scenery, the landscapes, and the people you will miss. Right as you drive away, a sudden panic of regret overcomes you. You are almost convinced you might be making a mistake, maybe you want to stay. Then you remember the reason you are leaving in the first place and how much more you have ahead of you. A chapter in your life has ended, but a new chapter is beginning.”
-Lynette Simeone

When we started our trip to Virginia I thought I'd take up vlogging some of our adventures. And here it is. The last one. The end. When we were homeward bound.

Here's the links to all the previous Travel Diary vlogs...

Getting there
The weekend
Thanksgiving in Florida
Virginia Beach
Washington D.C.
Skiing in Colorado


days that feel like home

I found this post in my drafts. I remember somewhat of what was going through my head when I started this post. Virginia had started to feel like home. And we were about to leave. I loved it, and I hated it. Hard to leave, hard to stay. Either way. I didn't know if Kansas would feel like home again. I was scared it wouldn't anymore. 

Now we've been home for about two months. And it does feel like home. That time we lived by the lake, half way across the country, for nearly half a year seems surreal, distant, like one long dream.

I've graduated high school, enrolled in college, Q and I are about to celebrate our one year dating anniversary. I've put my journals all back where they belong, I've potted succulents, I've gone back to drinking coffee in my big bed in the mornings.

These days feel like home.


TRAVEL DIARY - Washington D.C.

We took a little trip to D.C. during our stay in Virginia. A quick weekend of navigating metros, busy streets, and catching a couple sights, and some good food. Watch the newest Travel Diary installment below to check it all out.

the washington monument

shake shack in union station

the jefferson memorial

the holocaust museum

d.c. metro


art questions | painting supplies

Hey guys! Over the last year or so, I've been asked pretty frequently what kind of paints I use. I thought it would be best to put together one, central post to steer people towards. Also, there's been a couple other art-related questions that I'll answer too!

Have you always been artistic?
I've always been interested in art, yes. When I was little I would "write" books, spending hours illustrating each page with crayons and colored pencils. Little by little my style of art has shaped into what it looks like today!

How did you learn to paint?
I'm not quite sure when I picked out painting as my favorite art medium. I took what I had been doodling on scraps of paper and over-embellished to-do lists and translated it to brushes and paints. Since then, practice, practice, practice.

How did you learn to paint fancy quotes?
I've always loved experimenting with my handwriting. Anything I can write in a "fancy", "scripty" way, I will. Again, just practice, practice, practice!

What kinds of paints do you use?
All the paints I use are easy to find and affordable. Nothing too fancy. I'll place the links of where to purchase them in their descriptions. Here we goooooo...

These are my favorite kinds of paints. I find them to be the most flexible and forgiving of the paints I have.

This was my first watercolor set. Reeve's brand that I picked up from Hobby Lobby once upon a time. Though I hardly use these anymore, they are a good place to start.

My favorite, most used, watercolor set! The colors are beautiful and smooth. Daler-Rowney brand. Check them out here.

My larger watercolor palette. I don't find these to be as smooth as the ones above, but if you don't want to mix as many colors, this is a good set. Artist's loft. Check them out here

These are liquid watercolors that have a little dropper for dispensing. These are great for painting quotes. Dr. Ph. Martin's brand. Check them out here.

For these watercolors you can add water to adjust the opacity. I haven't had much practice with these, but so far I like them! Staedtler brand. Check them out here.

Okay, so acrylics are probably my least favorite paints to use. I could definitely experiment with them more, but for my type of paintings I don't use them often.

These are the acrylics I use on rare occasions. I would like to practice using them some more. Daler-Rowney brand. Check them out here

Alongside watercolors, these are my favorite. I actually accidentally stumbled upon gouache, thinking I was buying acrylics. I LOVE these. They have more of a "matte" look than acrylics and the texture is easy to work with.

I have had multiple sets of these gouache paints and I repurchase them every time I run out. Reeve's brand. Check them out here.



what home feels like

We've been back in Kansas for about a week and a half now.

When we reunite with people there are two types of one question: one that wants the easy answer, then one with more understanding. The latter adds "or do you miss it?" to "Is it good to be back?"

You know, it is good. Strange. And good. And confusing. And good. It's not a contest between the two places. They both hold events and people that we'll always remember.

How does it feel to be home?

To sum it up in a sentence:

Like everything is the same but me.


TRAVEL DIARY - Virginia Beach

During our stay in Virginia, we headed down to VA Beach for a weekend. We stayed on the boardwalk, we rode bikes around, explored different shops, and tried to keep the cold ocean from brushing against our toes. It was good time. One of the best we had in Virginia, in my opinion. So here's a lengthy, Travel Diary installment documenting our times.


coming and going and coming and going

*listen while you read*
One month and three days left. And then home.
And this is when it starts. The last week or so it's been sinking it. We're going to leave. Maybe for good. There's no guarantee we'll be back here again. In this capacity, for this length of time. But would we want that?
I've wanted home for so long. And now it's nearly here. It's all rushing to an end and a start at the same time. It's all uncontrollable. And your heart starts to get kind of soft to the place you'd try to build up walls against. Things slow down. You don't want to run through the days anymore.
I've seen it all before. I've done this all before. It's how humans work, isn't it? Always wanting what we cannot have. Longing to be where we cannot. And I hate it. Hate that I can't hate this place. Because home is where I'm going to have to be for good. That's the place I have to belong.
Maybe it's fear. Fear of feeling out of place back home. Much like it felt to come here in the beginning. We'll have been here one month short of half a year when we leave. It's only natural to get comfortable, as much as I may have tried not to. It's only natural to grow attached to places and people. It's only human. But it's so so messy. There's no denying it. I felt it last time when we went home too. The feeling of your heart scattered, torn between two places. So I guess this time, I decided I would not have that problem. I would be devoted totally to home. But there was no stopping it. There's no stopping the way people get into your mind and places get into your blood. You can't ignore things that made you who you are.
So we'll try and do our best. As always. I do want home. Really. I want my tall, comfy bed, I want my desk, our little town, I want the people there mostly, I want the feeling and knowledge and comfort of home -- I do. But I want this place too.


on repeat • 06

i don't trust myself (with loving you) live at nokia theatre by john mayer [x]
heart skipped a beat by the xx [x]
colors (stripped version) by halsey [x]
how long will i love you by ellie goulding [x]
addict with a pen by twenty one pilots [x]
love yourself by justin bieber [x]
one call away by charlie puth [x]


a long way from home. a long time since home.

We're three and a half months into our stay in Virginia. It's so strange to think about how long we've been here. Three and a half months may not sounds like much. But when I think about it, it was the first day of November that I woke up and wiped tears off my face, packed my last few things chaotically, and hugged my boyfriend goodbye. Since then, we've settled in, had Thanksgiving, went to Florida, Christmas passed, I went to Kansas for a week, the New Year started, I turned 18. We're now half way through February. The downhill slope for going home.

I hesitated whether or not to write about our stay, or home, or anything of the sort right now. Because it's really all still unclear to me. But I guess writing could get rather monotonous if you were always seeing from the perspective of having everything sorted out. But that takes time. And so I assume it's okay to write when you're in the midst of the feeling. When you're still confused.

I have no doubt that someday it'll all make sense. Why we had to be here. At this time.

So here we are. Good things are on the horizon. Things in Virginia are good too. Yes, it hurts to be away from home. It hurts to be away from the people you love most in the world. (I've been through all the possible emotions.) But here we are. We're learning how to make it.

I think the thing that's most important to me right now, no matter how many times I've failed previously, is making it a good experience. These last weeks here. I want to look back and not regret the way I left. Or the way I stayed.

So here's to trying. And failing. And trying again. And here's to staying well. And leaving well. And appreciating where you are, wherever that may be.


TRAVEL DIARY - Monticello

Awhile back we went to Thomas Jefferson's house for the day. Here's some pictures and a little Travel Diary installment from Monticello. It was beautiful, one of my favorite historical sites yet. 


writing prompt / 005

005. Write about a song and the memories or feelings it evokes in you.

That song "Thinking Out Loud" by Ed Sheeran. It came out the summer I met you. I remember listening to it and wondering about you. I wondered about you a lot from that July to January, when we hung out, just you and me, for the first time. We were on the way home, scanning the radio in your car. That song came on and we backed the radio up and you had to listen to me sing along as you drummed your fingers on your knee. We stopped at a stop sign after the chorus and you became very verbally aware of the presence of stars in the sky for the rest of the night.
Then four months later at prom, how it felt to have my hands around your neck and be in your arms and the look on your face and the words in your eyes. Once again, you had to listen to me sing along to that song, but this time we were closer and you sang along too. And the end of the song, the feeling of you not wanting to pull away.
The next day in the car, my hand in yours, the ride that went unfortunately too fast. At the stoplight, as it turned green, catching a few lines and turning the radio up. Just the mutual knowledge and your smile.
It evokes feelings of you. The feelings of happiness and wonder. The feeling of never forgetting, knowing it would be impossible to. 4/28/15