UKULELE COVER: "Riptide / We Don’t Believe What’s On TV" – Vance Joy / Twenty One Pilots MASHUP

IT’S BEEN A WHILE, MY FRIEND. I can only stand here and beg your forgiveness for how horribly late this video is. I SKIPPED A WHOLE MONTH. (And I’m beginning to see that I overcommit to things?? Eh. Small details.) Here is What Happened™ in great detail:

• I bought myself a ukulele and learned how to play it

• Then I learned how to play Riptide by Vance Joy

• Then I thought “huh this sounds like another song I really like

• What is it???


• omg that would be an awesome mashup

So I created a mashup of these two songs (We Don’t Believe What’s On TV is a song by Twenty One Pilots, in case you are unfortunate enough to not know that fact) and decided that I would record it. But there was just one small problem: I was on vacation in Florida, far away from the recording studio. And I wanted to shoot a music video with tropical road trip vibes.  Here is My Thought Process™ in great detail:


• yeah before I actually record the actual song

• I did that with the Hello/Alive mashup and it turned out pretty good

• *ignores the fact that I actually had a TEMPO with the Hello/Alive mashup and had practiced that vocal 8005434197621 times*

• *films the music video and THEN when I get back home I record the song and THEN as I go to edit the music video I realize that…*


Just being honest here, my friend. I TRIED MY BEST but I recorded the music video before I recorded the song so… *cowers under a very large pillow* BE NICE TO ME. I’ve learned my lesson. And I’ve also learned how to play the ukulele SO THAT’S A PLUS.

This one was a lot of fun (A LOT OF FUN) and totally unlike everything else I’ve ever done. SO I HOPE YOU LIKE IT. And if you do, please jump over to my YouTube channel and subscribe while simultaneously punching that like button. (I know you can do both, you multitalented unicorn.)

Check out the music video below and/or listen on SoundCloud!

rock on,


Do you ever have NO IDEA what to post on Instagram? Do you want your grid to look super pretty and reflect your own unique vibe buT YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START?? I can relate.

I’m not going to lie: INSTAGRAM IS HARD. That is, it’s hard if you’re like me and trying desperately to create and maintain a certain aesthetic. BUT!! MY FRIEND. I HAVE A SECRET TO TELL YOU: I have discovered a way to make building an aesthetic Instagram EASY and FUN.* It’s kind of a HACK, if you will. And I’m going to show you exactly how to do this RIGHT NOW.

But first TAKE NOTE: I am not saying there is a “right or wrong” way to do Instagram. On the contrary, I firmly believe in DOING WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY** and if following a certain theme or aesthetic on your Instagram just isn’t your jam, don’t do it!! DO WHAT MAKES YOU SMILE. For me, that is carefully planning what my grid is going to look like and then taking lots of photos and editing them and putting them through filters and posting them at specific times… that’s seriously WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY. So today I’m going to show you how I do just that. WHY SHOULD YOU TAKE MY SAGE ADVICE?? Because I like to think I have a nice-looking Instagram. Check out the screenshot below and IF YOU DISAGREE and think I’m an inconsistent limpet, then by all means… *nervous sobbing* DON’T TAKE MY ADVICE OK. But look:

Not bad, right?? KIND OF COOL, RIGHT??? Remember: I have the power to remove all waffle makers from the face of the earth if you disagree with me. (Even though I just gave you full permission to disagree with me in the last paragraph let’S PRETEND THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN AND I CHANGED MY MIND.)

*Results may vary depending on how DIE HARD PERSERVERING YOU ARE because we all know it takes blood sweat and tears and zero oxford commas to put together a beautiful Instagram grid. ;)
**within reason lol but WOW SUCH A FOREIGN CONCEPT in this world, is it not??

In this abusive world of the Internet™, many of us have lost the true definition of the word “aesthetic” because too many teenagers used it improperly on Tumblr. A lot of people think the word “aesthetic” means “looks good” AND YES I AM GUILTY OF USING THIS WORD IMPROPERLY. But “aesthetic” actually means “the appearance of something” < it can be aesthetically pleasing, or aesthetically displeasing but THE FREAKING WORD MEANS “HOW SOMETHING LOOKS” OK?? And that’s what matters. Why?

     • When a potential follower stumbles upon your Instagram, you want to give them a clear idea of the kind of content you post…IN THE FIRST 9 IMAGES.

     • You also want to keep them scrolling with LOTS of visual beauty to look at.

     • You also want to impress them.

     • Because you can.

     • Because you’re an impressive person so LET IT SHOW.

    • And even if you don’t want new followers, your pretty Instagram grid WILL make you smile 1000% GUARANTEE.

If you need more reasons than that to START KILLING YOUR INSTAGRAM GAME, then… who are you?? Let’s get started.

AGAIN, THE DEFINITION: figure out what looks like you. Not like your face because that’s creepy, but YOUR VIBE. Think of photography styles. Moods. Subjects. Colors. Look at other awesome Instagrammers and notice which ones speak to your soul. Which feed could you scroll through ALL DAY LONG and forget about 1000 real life responsibilities??

For me, that vibe can be described as: sleepy summer road-trippy bookish bright white pastel flower child. < That sentence is not supposed to make grammatical sense please do not doubt my writing abilities or lack thereof. But now that I have KEYWORDS for my aesthetic, what next??? YOU KNOW ME TOO WELL, FRIEND. 

Pinterest has the answer to nearly everything.* Take your list of keywords (you should have about 5 or 7 good ones by now) and TYPE IN THE SEARCH BAR: [keyword] aesthetic > HIT SEARCH. (So for me, I might search for “pastel summer aesthetic” or something similar.)

BOOM. LOTS OF AESTHETICALLY PLEASING PHOTOS SHOULD POP UP. Find at least 9 photos that you LOVE and download them. < If, by this point, you are freaking out and thinking “OH MY GOSH ABBIE NOOOO YOU STEAL PHOTOS FROM PINTEREST???” you are severely mistook. DO I LOOK LIKE A PIRATE TO YOU?** I mean come on. (I will explain the method to my madness in a moment.)

DOWNLOAD THE PICTURES YOU LIKE, but also keep this in mind: could you take a picture just like that? Example: if you live in the woods of Vermont like me, and you really love this picture of a neon street in Tokyo, DON’T DOWNLOAD IT. You can’t actually take a picture like that unless you got yourself a plane ticket to Tokyo which is impossible because if you are TRULY like me, you are broke. Because you spend too much money on books. :’) BUT!! If you live in the woods of Vermont like me and you really love this picture of…THE WOODS…then you might be able to take a picture just like that. DOWNLOAD IT.

*Even world hunger seriously has anyone even TRIED to find the solution on Pinterest?????? PROBABLY NOT.
**I kind of AM a pirate in a vague sense because I steal things like my sister’s clothes but who’s gonna fight me you know

Short answer: NO. You’re not even copying, to be honest. You are simply going to create a vision board. Think of it as any other vision board on the planet. For example: I want a house in Florida. I might create a vision board with a photo of a beautiful house in Florida surrounded by palm trees and ocean and serenity. When I am rich and famous one day, I’m going to buy that house. BUT NOT THAT ACTUAL HOUSE. I’m not going to find it, show up at the door, and boot the owner out because I’VE BEEN LOOKING AT IT FOR SO LONG AND HI NOW I’M HERE TO TAKE IT FROM THEM. < Noooo. That’s not how it works.

A vision board is for INSPIRATION. I look at the house in Florida and I say: “I want a place like that someday.” IS THAT STEALING, MY FRIEND?? No. Because you want your own thing that is similar to the thing you’re looking at.

Remember what my Instagram grid looked like? Here it is again, (right) beside the vision board I created for myself (left):

As you can see, I differentiated from the inspiration photos a bit because I WANTED IT TO BE MY OWN. Also sometimes I change my mind at the last minute and decide to post something totally different but equally pretty!

Stealing = downloading those photos from Pinterest and posting them straight to your Instagram account. << NOT GOOD NOT NICE DON’T DO IT.

Creating a vision board for what you WANT your Instagram feed to kinda-sorta look like and then taking your own pictures to match that vibe = WHAT I’M GOING TO SHOW YOU HOW TO DO RIGHT NOW.

Open up PicMonkey Collage Maker. < It’s free and will change your life. Import those 9 photos you just downloaded. Select the layout called “Square Deal” and pick the one that LOOKS JUST LIKE AN INSTAGRAM GRID. It should be a perfect square with nine placeholders.

HERE COMES THE FUN PART: drag and drop all your images in there, according to what looks good to you. What is so nice about arranging your pictures in PicMonkey Collage?? YOU GET TO MOVE THEM AROUND. Figure out what kind of grid you want before posting your photos, and you’ll never be like “UGH THAT ONE DOESN’T LOOK GOOD NEXT TO THAT ONE AND NOW I ALREADY HAVE FIFTY LIKES I DON’T WANT TO TAKE IT DOWNNNNN” <<< the struggle is real, I know. But this way, you can plan out the order in which you post your photos – and, if you’re anything like me, schedule them according to day. NO I’M NOT OBSESSIVE AT ALL WHY DO YOU ASK SUCH A QUESTION. 

Here comes the other fun part!! TAKING THE PHOTOS. I’ve always loved those photography challenges you see all over the internet – lists of subjects to take pictures of every day for a month. THIS IS KIND OF LIKE THAT. Except you have a super clear idea of what exactly you want the picture to look like. You have visual inspiration! And moods and colors!

I don’t know about you, but the way I have learned practically everything in my life is by simply watching someone else do it first. I don’t like following rules or step-by-step guides.* I would much rather “watch and learn.” So there is absolutely nothing wrong with studying the work of other photographers and learning a thing or two from them in order to achieve what you want with your own photography and Instagram. BE INSPIRED. And keep it fun!!

*lowkey downtalking my own post now hahahahahem.

The secret is out: I’M KIND OF OBSESSED WITH INSTAGRAM. Are you?? How would you describe YOUR aesthetic? Do you create vision boards for inspiration?? Or for buying houses in Florida??? Oh and don’t forget to drop a link to YOUR Instagram in the comments below!! Because I need to follow you asap. ;)

rock on,

How To Deal With Your Plot Bunnies (In 3 Easy Steps!)

If I am known for anything besides waffles and trademark symbols and the color teal, I am probably known for the ridiculous amount of book ideas I have: 17 TO BE EXACT. Did I want these book ideas? Did I ask for them?? Is now a really good time to DROP EVERYTHING and hermit away to spontaneously write a new book??? < NO TO ALL.

The plot bunny struggle is real. I’m starting this post by blabbing about myself so you can see that I have the same problem – too many book ideas, and not enough time.* But don’t get me wrong – I LOVE NEW BOOK IDEAS. They make me incandescently happy. After thinking up a new book idea, I will walk around all day/week/month in a lovestruck stupor with a dumb smile on my face and everyone will probably think I have a secret admirer WHEN ACTUALLY NOPE IT’S JUST A NEW IDEA FOR A NEW BOOK AND DON’T MAKE ME THINK ABOUT THE REALITY OF MY SCHEDULE OR ELSE I WON’T BE HAPPY ANYMORE I WILL BE INCANDESCENTLY ANGRY @LIFE.

It’s a very delicate subject, the plot bunny. But I’ve begun to realize that I am not alone in this struggle. Lots of writers face the dread of being plagued with renegade ideas that will keep them up at night and steal their motivation to write anything else. IT’S A RATHER TERRIFYING PROSPECT WHEN YOU REALLY THINK ABOUT IT. But there is hope, my friend. Today I’m going to show you how I deal with my small army of 17 plot bunnies.

*This is actually one of the two things I like about myself so plz don’t judge me for shouting a bit. :’)

PLOT BUNNIES HAVE A MIND OF THEIR OWN. Seriously. I have no idea where most of my book ideas came from. I’ll see something – in a gift shop or on Pinterest or in my own house – and suddenly, BOOM. THE BUNNY ATTACKS. I have a five book series exploding in my head with heartbreaks and villains and sci-fi worlds and time travel and…it’s all very messy.

For a while, I had absolutely no process on how to deal with my new book ideas. This is roughly what it looked like:

     • OMG NEW BOOK IDEA!!! Happy dance and freak out and flail!!!!!!!!1 Everyone looks at me weird and is like “are you ok” and I’m like “no”

     • Grab a notebook and write down a few Vague Notes That Make No Sense™

     • SCREAM

     • Celebrate with waffles

     • Realize that I have no time to write this book

     • SCREAM X2

     • Go back to whatever thing I was writing in the first place with slightly less motivation and then probably forget about the plot bunny = it dies

As you can see, THIS PROCESS IS EXACTLY 000% HELPFUL. I mean, who wants to FORGET about a plot bunny??? *crickets* YES OK SO SOME OF YOU DO but if you really want to write that freaking brilliant book one day, YOU NEED TO HOLD ONTO THE BUNNY. Feed it, water it, lock it up in a cage, and DON’T LET IT DIE.

DROP WHATEVER IT IS YOU’RE DOING and go write those ideas down!! EVERY. SINGLE. ONE OF THEM. Even if you end up scrapping an idea later, it never hurts to write down your every thought on a new book idea. I have only ever regretted not writing down an idea. And don’t be afraid of making NO SENSE. Just be thorough. WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING <<< I cannot stress it enough.

A book doesn’t feel REAL to me until I have two things to accompany it: a Pinterest board and a playlist.* I just like to utilize all my senses or something?? Unfortunately I cannot taste my book (seriously unfortunate – it would probably taste like waffles) but I can build a Pinterest board to see it and a playlist to hear it. This may or may not be helpful to you – IT IS RIDICULOUSLY HELPFUL TO ME. So when I get a new book idea, a) I write down EVERY SINGLE DETAIL, b) I create a Pinterest board, and then c) I create a playlist of music that reminds me of the new book.

*We won’t even get into the fact that I additionally make Pinterest boards and playlists for individual CHARACTERS and SCENES in my books. Because I’m a little obsessive and I’m afraid you’ll get scared *extends waffle peace offering* 

I’m about to give you plot bunny advice that you probably haven't heard from ANYONE ELSE: plot your new book idea as if you’re going to write it. I KNOW!!! CRAZY. But it works for me, and I’m dearly hoping it will work for you as well. The #1 thing that makes my plot bunnies die is delaying gratification SO MUCH that I’m no longer excited about the idea.

Which seems ridiculous because YOU’RE SUPPOSE TO DELAY GRATIFICATION RIGHT?? You’re supposed to ignore those plot bunnies and hide them in a dark closet and buckle down on your current writing project. RIGHT???? Actually, no. In my experience, the best thing to do with new book ideas is regularly think about them. Slowly and steadily. Of course I put them on the back burner – but they’re still simmering. AND GRADUALLY BECOMING FULL-FLEDGED IDEAS. << And then I’ll write the book when I’m actually ready to.

All I can say is: IT WORKS FOR ME. I’m the kind of writer who shamelessly hoards plot bunnies and wants to keep them all alive and well because I will eventually write them into books because I’m secretly immortal and have all the time in the universe BUT I’M ALSO A VERY ANXIOUS BEAN OF ANXIETY AND I need stability and structure. < If this is you as well, the above method for Dealing With Plot Bunnies 101 should help you.

How do YOU deal with plot bunnies? Forget about them? Think about them incessantly?? Simmer them on the back burner??? Are you plagued with new book ideas or not really? Do you make Pinterest boards? Playlists? Share some goodies in the comment section below!!

rock on,

What's Up, May? (My Sister Got Married + I Have My Own Bedroom + I’m Unforgivably Late)

YES THIS VIDEO IS UNFORGIVABLY LATE but hey I have some very good excuses: I’ve been BUSIER THAN EVER LATELY. Entire to-do lists are languishing UNFINISHED (omg) on my desk and my head is spinning. I feel like a multitrack session. I feel like a very small CPU on overdrive. I FEEL LIKE AN INTERNET BROWSER OF TOO MANY OPEN TABS. But I’ll shut up with my geeky analogies and give you some dirt already.

My sister Kate GOT MARRIED last weekend.* WHAAAAT THE HEEEECKKKK??? I can barely comprehend this. For the first time IN MY LIFE I’ll have my own bedroom. IT’S REALLY BITTERSWEET OK?? I’m so happy that my sister is happy but I’m going to miss her something awful. :’’’’’’’’)

The mashup cover music video is coming!! I PROMISE. There’s just one small problem: I HAVEN’T ACTUALLY RECORDED THE SONG YET. *distant concerned laughter* This Friday I’m going to the studio to record it though SO IF I AM ACTUALLY A SUPERHERO, you should see the music video this coming weekend.**

I AM BEING TRAMPLED BY PLOT BUNNIES HELP. If new book ideas are actually innocent little bunnies, this is an accurate depiction of my brain right now. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING doesn’t my Muse™ know that I HAVE NO TIME TO WRITE ALL THESE BOOKS??

Also I’ve have literally 0000 time to read lately. It’s been altogether sad and distressing. :’) HELP.

But SURPRISE I have an entire month of REALLY COOL BLOG CONTENT planned! My friend, I haven’t felt organized in FOREVER. Finally I feel like I have a good idea of what I’m doing here on the blog. LOOK FORWARD TO SOME SICK STUFF IN MAY, BRO.

*Ignore the fact that I say “yesterday” in the video because I literally recorded this vlog the day after the wedding….hence my inability to put together a sentence.
**Also ignore the fact that I say “next weekend” and then later on “this weekend” in the video. I literally recorded this vlog the day after the wedding and… YEAH YOU GET MY DRIFT OK.

What’s up with YOUR month?

rock on,