shayla lilian

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


apparently the whole senior photo/graduation announcement thing is a very american tradition. my parents had never heard of it until they moved here and they just never jumped on board with it. none of us kids have ever done it before for high school or college and i've decided to change that. i think it's a fun idea to document this time of your life as it's the end of one big chapter and the beginning of another. so nicolaus shot some photos of me over the weekend (and apparently photo shoots by yourself can be a pretty awkward/squinty eyed/lopsided smile ordeal...haha but it was nice to get outside and breathe some fresh air!) and i designed a graduation announcement card, and now i just need to go get them all printed and sent off.
this whole process got me thinking about traditions and whatnot. a lot of the time i've felt like i don't have roots in any particular place or am overly attached to a lot of family traditions. i think it's because my immediate family left all our relatives behind in south africa when i was at such a young age. i never had family reunions or sunday dinners at grandma's or anything of that sort. which always makes me a bit sad because i do love my relatives and cherish the times i have spent with them. but i understand why my parents moved us away and am so grateful for all the opportunites it's afforded me over here in utah. 
utah will always have a special place in my heart because it's this beautiful place where i grew up and have a lot of fond memories. but it's not like we have a ton of family here or we go generations back as pure-blood utahns. a lot of the time i feel really out of place in the culture here and can't wait to get out. but that's the beauty of not feeling rooted here or stuck in certain traditions...nicolaus and i have a whole lot of uncertain options in our future. we have an unmapped life ahead of us where we can ditch old traditions and adapt new ones to our liking. there are good things to come and i love the anticipation of being open to all sorts of possibilities. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


remember noah's nick's boat he bought for cheap and fixed up? well, we took it out to utah lake today and guess didn't sink! nicolaus was only slightly offended that this was a real concern of mine...haha but really it was so much fun to row all over. i've always loved canoeing and our boat is just like that only better cause it's bigger! but also slightly more difficult to stear and took a minute for me to get the hang of...but eventually i did and we rowed around and fished and breathed in fresh springtime air and made friends with some amazing bearded old fishermen in a little motor boat near us. the only downside was the ONE BILLION mosquitoes that tried their best to eat us alive at one point. next time i'm going fully equipped with a gallon of bug spray.

Monday, April 7, 2014


Thank you so, so much to everyone who entered my giveaway and left some really sweet comments for my mom's book, Spots! If it was up to me I would shower you all with free copies, but unfortunately there can only be one winner...and that lucky lady is...

Congratulations Morgan! Hope you enjoy :)

Saturday, April 5, 2014


My sweet, sassy, hilarious, cute niece, Camryn, just turned one! Which is pretty mind blowing how fast this year has gone. Nicolaus and I spent last weekend in Syracuse with his family and we had a fun, family birthday party for Camryn. She is so cute and fun and I really just want her to stay a chubby little baby forever :)

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend! I will be watching a lot of this, spending time with family and doing homework in between. And remember that today is the last day to enter this giveaway for a copy of the book Spots!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Whoa. It hit me last night that I graduate this month. In a few short weeks I will be a college graduate. It feels like I graduated from High School yesterday. Who am I feels like I graduated from Kindergarten yesterday. They're not kidding when they say time flies.

Now the real trick will be pushing through these next few weeks and staying focused on school. The problem is I just keep finding myself on Pinterest, daydreaming about real life to I just realized Mad Men season 6 is finally on Netflix...maybe I won't be graduating this month after all when i ditch all my finals to binge watch it?

P.S. Don't forget to enter my giveaway or Treasure & Travels giveaway for a free copy of the book Spots! And a big thank you to all of you who have already entered! :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Dr. Dog | Jackie Wants a Black Eye
The Growlers | One Million Lovers
Foxygen | In the Darkness
MØ | Don't Wanna Dance
Lorde | Ribs
Beach Day | Beach Day
Air Waves | Lightening
Grateful Dead | New Speedway Boogie
Rodriguez | Crucify Your Mind
Kurt Vile | Never Run Away
Butthole Surfers | Pepper
Langhorne Slim, The Law | The Way We Move
Big Scary | Twin Rivers
Fair Ohs | Green Apple Milk
Black Sabbath | Paranoid
The Grass Roots | Wait A Million Years
Link Wray | Tail Dragger
Gene Clark | Silver Raven

P.S. Don't forget to enter my giveaway for a free copy of the book Spots!

Sunday, March 30, 2014


i've mentioned before that my mom has written this book, spots, and i've helped her with this project, but now here's the back story:

my family (on both sides - generations back) are south african. my siblings and i were all born there, but my parents decided they wanted to raise their kids in a bit of a safer environment, so we moved to utah when all of us kids were still really young. needless to say, my mom experienced a very different childhood than i did. in fact, very different childhood from anyone i know. and that's what her book is about. 

it's about my mom (judy brummer) and her two best friends, who are african and part of the xhosa tribe, growing up during apartheid south africa. it is full of lovely tales of childhood friendship dealing with culture and race differences/inequalities. it is funny, entertaining and downright heart-wrenching at times. and i promise i'm not just saying that because she's my mom/i helped with some of the editing/designed the cover...

although i did help in the editing process and i read through the manuscript a few times, there was a moment of doubt when we launched the website that i thought "what if nobody likes this book and i only like it because it's stories of my family..." but then the reviews started coming in and people (a wide variety of people at that) have had so many incredible things to say about it! plus i just finished reading it in actual book form, for my "read one book a month for fun" goal, and it really is a great book. i love it and it's a project i'm so proud of!

for more information about the book or if you want to order a hardcover copy check out the website here. and if ebooks are your thing you can order one here.

orrrr, if you want to enter a giveaway for a chance of winning a free, hardcover, signed copy of spots here's what you have to do:

+ like spotty books on facebook.
+ be a follower of this blog via blogger and/or bloglovin.
+ comment below saying you did so.

and for extra chances at winning the giveaway you can:

+ follow @spottybooks on instagram.
+ follow @shaylalilian on instagram.

thanks for playing along! and a winner will be announced one week from now on sunday, april 6.