For Your Enjoyment

Thank you for visiting my…./Happy Bench Monday ~ Flickr

Happy Monday!

I found a good article on Dr. Trevor Cates fb page titled Progress, Not Perfection.

I really enjoy Eleanor at The Writers’ Table. Recently she posted an article titled Saying No. It applies to a lot of things in our lives that we want to accomplish, not just getting one’s writing done.

I enjoyed The one’s who change the world  by Steve Jobs. Posted by Simple Reminders.

We had this for dinner last week and it was delicious! I used salmon bought at our local Dillons (fresh, not frozen): Balsamic-Glazed Salmon Fillets Recipe.

Anyone that knows me knows how important I think gratitude is. I love this quote. 

I haven’t had this dish yet, but it’s my plan to make it this week. It looks quite easy: A 5-Ingredient Pasta That Couldn’t Be Simpler.

At last, but not least, I found a good article from Grown & Flown titled, The Crushing Culture of Parental Expectations.


Book Review and Giveaway!

cat's pajamas

This is a very interesting book. I was drawn to the title and the front cover of the book. When I read “Over the course of one magical night, these three lost souls will search for love, music, and hope on the snow-covered streets of Philadelphia, and together they will discover life’s endless possibilities,” I knew I wanted to read it.

The book covers a 24 hour time span. There are three main characters with lots of minor characters that play big roles. The reader is taken on a journey in which many adventures happen in a relatively short time. All their journeys end at the jazz club, The Cat’s Pajamas, at 2:00am on Christmas Eve.

I found the story exciting, endearing, hopeful at times, and a little dark at other times. Most of the time I liked the writing; however, at times the story seemed disjointed and some words/lines out of place. I also didn’t particularly like when the story took a fantastical approach such as a talking cockroach or Mrs. Santiago flying over the neighborhood at the end.

Overall, a good book that I am glad I read.

More Info.

Author Bio.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Just leave a comment and I will choose one lucky winner on January 31st. Good luck! Or, if you’d rather, go to my Facebook page and enter a comment under the book review post.


Feeling Fit and Light


This picture was taken in Juneau, Alaska. One of my lifelong goals was to go to Alaska. So thankful I was able to go, and I plan to return. I went with a close friend of mine. We hiked and walked all over the place. I love seafood and had chowder every chance I got!

One of my new year’s resolutions is to feel fit and light. The most fit and light I ever felt was the summer before my junior year in high school. I had a good friend who lived by a large lake and she would run and I would bike around it. It was seven miles around the lake. (See why I chose to ride and not run?) We would swim and lay out on the beach.  It was the summer before I was seventeen. I had a car, a job, and lots of freedom. I was 5′ 7″ and weighed 127-132 pounds. I wore a bikini without any thought of being self-conscious.

I don’t plan to get down to that weight. I don’t think I would even want to, or could, for that matter. I still like two piece swimsuits, even though I am not sure they like me. But, I was thinking a helpful way to accomplish this goal of feeling fit and light might be to make a list of all the things I like to do other than eating.

  1. Exercise (ride my bike, walk/run, swim. dance, do yoga, etc.)
  2. Spend time with my dogs
  3. Read something good
  4. Talk to a good friend on the phone
  5. Take a bath
  6. Watch a movie or show
  7. Observe nature
  8. Write
  9. Hang out with my husband
  10. Hang out with my children
  11. Play scrabble on my iPad
  12. Take a hike
  13. Shop for something special
  14. Sing
  15. Sleep
  16. Take a drive
  17. Visit with a friend in person
  18. Go to sporting events
  19. Surf the net
  20. Declutter anything in my life
  21. Organize things in my life
  22. Garden
  23. Hang out at a beach
  24. Water my plants, bushes, and trees
  25. Create something
  26. Watch a sunrise or sunset
  27. Call my mom

I’m sure there are many more things I can come up. I enjoying eating, so of course I will continue doing that; however, being active will help me feel fit and light.

For Your Enjoyment

Happy Monday!IMG_1223

This picture was taken on the island of Oahu. We were there a year and a half ago. I wish I was there today.

It’s Sunday as I write this,  and I have a plan to stay inside all day if I can. I have been on the road a ton this week, and I am ready to be in. Also, it’s really cold outside. I made a bacon potato soup and Caesar salad for lunch. (I did use onion salt and onion powder instead of chopped onion, and I left out the carrots.) Now I have big decisions to make: do I ready my new book or watch something on Netflix? I love Sundays.

Here is the recipe for the soup I made. It’s from Recipe Girl and is actually called Potato Soup with Bacon.

Check out these 20 traveler photos that will take your breath away. I have not been to any of these, but I would sure like to go!

I think we all deal with fear in our lives. I was talking to a close friend of mine last week and she told me how she had been fighting fear most of her life. I told her that we all fight fear. I found this video The Other Side of Fear. It’s pretty good.

I have been working toward making my daily goal on my fitbit. I have found that watching a favorite Netflix show while on the treadmill really helps. Lately I have been watching The Glades. I don’t watch it on dvd; I stream it through my iPad or laptop.

My friend, Kerry, at Your Streamlined Life is offering an online course titled Design a Life You Love in 6 Days. I think this is a goal we all desire.

I found this article in the New York Times: Celebrating Martin Luther King Day.

I’ll have to remind my children the reason they are off of school this Monday.

Have a great week!



Books I read in 2015 – Oh, What a Year!


I tried something this past year that I have never done before. I wrote down every book I read. (At least I hope I got them all written down.) What a privilege to live in a country where we can read what we want and have books so easily accessible. I don’t take that for granted.

I also believe reading can be a luxury, a guilty pleasure, and a necessity at times.

Here is my list for 2016. I took my notes from my reading journal and put them in this post. They aren’t thorough reviews (or even complete sentences), just my thoughts upon finishing each book.


natchez burning


This novel by Greg Iles is good, fast-paced, dark, violent, and long at 865 pages. Iles is an intelligent and good writer. It was a worthwhile read.


all fall down


I enjoy reading work by Jennifer Weiner. I liked this novel. It was mostly believable with good lessons to learn from reading it.




one plus one

I love JoJo Moyes! I loved this book. I laughed, I cried. I wish I could write like her. Wow.




james herriot

Reading James Herriot is so enjoyable. This reminded me when I was little and wanted to be a vet.




all creatures great and small

Once again, James Herriot was wonderful in his writings. I especially loved the last story.





to love and be wise

I found this book a little disappointing and somewhat unbelievable. I did like the character, Alan Grant, the inspector.


because mr terupt


This short novel by Rob Buyea was a sweet, endearing book that my son read first. The story is told through each character’s experience.


my antonia

Willa Cather is a marvelous writer. This was very good. I loved it. It was heartfelt, descriptive, and hopeful.



Written by Genevieve Morgan, this is a great book! Reads kind of like a text book (but, not a boring one). Opened my mind – especially reading about the gap year.


true believer = book

Sweet, real at times, liked the male character better than the female. It had a happy ending: no death, no tears (maybe a teary eye).






This book, written by Arianna Huffington, was good, inspiring, and gave me permission to relax and enjoy life a bit. Felt a little wordy and repetitive at times.



beach town

This was on summer “best reads” lists. It was good, easy to read. A few times it felt characters weren’t “true” to character with words or actions. I enjoyed this book, though.




lee child jack reacher

Such a talented writer. How can anyone not love Jack Reacher? Short novels. I listened to this audiobook and enjoyed it very much – fun to listen to.



ruby book

Wish I hadn’t read it. It was an Oprah pick. Cynthia Bond is a talented writer who uses lots of similes, metaphors, description, and symbolism. It was too dark, violent, and unrealistic (at times) for me.





I loved this novel by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore. It was well written: lots of metaphors, similes, and descriptive writing and also lots of twists and turns.


little paris bookshop

Published in Germany and then translated – Great book. Thoughtful, sweet, hopeful, characters with deep and intense emotions.




Go Ahead & Like It

A whole book about what the author “likes.” “My practice of sustained elation.” I really enjoyed it!




Honey, Baby, Sweetheart

YA book – good writer – I enjoyed her insights. Little jumpy at times. It was easy to put down and pick back up again. Good.





the gift of failure


Very glad I read this book. It’s about not overparenting – how parents should support, not coach. Let kids make mistakes and learn from them.






black ice

Another YA book. It was entertaining, somewhat of a page turner. At times inconsistent, far-fetched, and unrealistic, but still a really fun read. It’s a romantic thriller.




the surrender experiment

Very interesting and though provoking. Learned we shouldn’t limit ourselves. Also, we don’t have to listen to the constant chatter in our heads.





let it snow

“The Jubliee Express” – Maureen Johnson. Book is made up of 3 Christmas Romances. Loved her voice. Recommended by one of my daughters.





the wedding book

Very good. He (Nicholas Sparks) always gets at least one tear from me  Reminded me of my marriage.





the time garden

An adult coloring book – Delightful, well done. Trying to decide if I should keep it or gift it.





fool me twice

By Michael Brandman. Quick, short paragraphs. I liked that. Pulled me in some, but somewhat unrealistic and lacking detail.




at the water's edge

Good book. Same author as Water for Elephants. I love her character Angus.





immortal life henrietta lacks

By Rebecca Skloot. Thought-provoking, well researched. Well done, but I didn’t like reading about cancer.





60 sensational treats you can pull off in a snap. Love the cover. Mainly got it to give to my mom.




after you


By Jojo Moyes, Loved it, of course. Sequel to Me Before You.




instant happy journal


By Karen Salmansohn. “365 days of inspiration, gratitude, and joy.” Fun, cheery, book.





By Christopher Hart. Fun, instructional book on drawing characters.






By Ellen Hopkins. YA book (not sure how). Graphic, violent, teens turning to prostitution to survive or try to survive. 5 main characters. Pulls the reader in. Written in verse.




gone tomo reacher

By Lee Child. Consistently good writing. Strong Character. Violence. Suspense. Listened to this on audiobook. Took a week.




lee child


Mainly bought it to read the introduction by Lee Child explaining how he became a writer. Fun to read his first novel.




apartment therapy

Gorgeous book! Loved all the photos of houses across the U.S. Liked the “hints for a happier home.”

For Your Enjoyment

Joy/Marina del Castell via Flickr
Joy/Marina del Castell via Flickr

I hope the New Year is finding you well, happy, satisfied, and encouraged.

It’s an effort sometimes to live in the moment; however, I think living in the moment and being grateful attributes to our happiness. I found this article from Psychology Today  titled The Art of Now: Six Steps to Living in the Moment.

From time to time we have people in our lives that cause us stress. For whatever reasons, we find these people difficult. I came across this article titled 6 Tips for Dealing with Difficult (Even Impossible) People. Check out these useful ideas.

I bought a new pair of ankle boots with my Christmas money, and I was surfing the net to find ideas for how to wear them. I found two articles that were helpful.

One is titled: 10 Ways To Wear Ankle Boots (And 13 Tips To Wearing Them Well).                                                                                             

The other article is How to Wear: Ankle Boots. Check them out!

Also with my Christmas money I bought a fitbit. One of my sisters told me I should get one. She has one and she loves it. I know several people who have them, and I never really thought I wanted one. Let me tell you, I love it! I bought the fitbit named “One.” I didn’t think I would want to wear one on my wrist. The one I bought can be clipped on your bra or your pants. The clip comes with the fitbit. The reason I am liking my new gadget is I am setting goals for myself and pushing myself with exercise.

I love the website RecipeGirl. Here is Weekly Menu Planner #30. She has meals for both regular nightly dinners and Weight Watcher dinners.

This Sunday I have my High Plains Writing Group meeting. Last year I wrote an article about The Importance of Belonging to a Writing Group. Check it out if you long to be a writer or if you would enjoy having some kind of creative group of your own.

Have a wonderful week!!




Happy 2016!!!

Photo found on flickr and created by Jennifer of SweetOnVeg

What big plans, dreams, goals, aspirations do you have for the new year? I hope 2016 is a wonderful year for all of us. There is just something about a new year. It’s like a slate has been wiped clean and we get a new start.

If you have a spare moment, check out my “welcome” and “about” pages I revamped them over the holidays.

Here are some sites I hope you enjoy.

After I had the privilege to go to Alaska last summer, I have a renewed love of hiking. I don’t know when I will get to hike again, but I would love to try some of these….check out this from National Geographic: World’s Best Hikes: 20 Dream Trails.      

It’s a never ending goal in my life, and probably yours too, to prepare a nice meal without having to put too much thought and work into it. Check out Casseroles for Every Taste. There are definitely some recipes here that I am going to be trying.

Speaking of food, I went to a party over the holidays and had the best spinach artichoke dip I have ever tasted. Here is the recipe: The Best Spinach Artichoke Dip Ever.

While I am on the subject of food (this is seriously making me hungry as I write!:) Here is Our Favorite BA Recipes of 2015.

If you love books, you won’t want to miss this: Discover Your Next Book  from Penguin Random House. 

Check out this YogaCamp – Welcome Orientation. I know I have talked about Yoga with Adriene before. She is terrific! Whatever level you are at, she’ll meet you there. You should really give this a try. I love it. It started January 2nd, but it doesn;t matter. You can do the classed any day and time you choose. And, it’s free!!

I found a new emagazine (via Kim Gane on The Women of Midlife fb page) that I am still checking out. It’s called Literary Mama. So far, I am impressed with this site. They have a huge staff and there is tons of information for moms and for writers.

If I had to choose one mantra or motto for the new year, it would be this: