Thursday, June 30, 2011

Transformers. Need I say More?

Bumblebee from Transformers

My week of "bachelorhood" has been overshadowed by conference mayhem.  Although, I'm including the Transformers photo above because that was the big movie premier in NYC this week (regretfully, I did not see Josh Duhamel as many conference attendees did).  I've been attending the national Romance Writers of America conference in NYC, which coincidentally ends tomorrow.  It's been an exciting event.  What was most exciting to see were the number of readers that attended the "open to the public" event Tuesday night at the hotel for the autograph signing.  The room was overflowing with best-selling authors signing books for their fans.  Unbelievably, the line wrapped around the hotel, even as the Transformers movie premier was setup on the street outside the hotel (see photo above that I took at noon that day while they were doing sound-check).

This is just a quick update...I'm off to Macy's, dinner, and then drinks at the downstairs dive-bar my brother frequents (daily??).  Being out of my element has been so much fun this week and the contacts I've made at the conference have been amazing.  So excited & positive about the possibilities with my writing.

I wonder if Josh Duhamel is still in's time I go looking for him...


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Living like a Bachelor

I arrived late last night in NYC - took Amtrak and have to say it was so quiet and relaxing on the 90 minute ride in.  I caught up on some reading that had accumulated during the week.  Once in the city, I immediately went to my brother's apartment (he's at my house watching my kids while I'm gone, we literally switched lives!) to get settled.  My first night alone for was very strange to say the least.  I'm married with 3 kids and pets so even if I escape to another room in the house to be "alone", I will either have a cat purring for my attention or I can hear the family in the other rooms. 

That wasn't the case last night and it was a bit unnerving.  Take advantage of it, you might say.  I did, I continued reading in fact.  I love, love, love magazines so I enjoyed the ones my brother has lying around his place, different than my usual Redbook or Parenting magazines I subscribe to.

I got engrossed in Men's Health magazine and now feel like powering up on protein powder and going to the gym to work on my biceps.  Actually, I'm a huge True Blood fan but not necessarily of Stephen Moyer, "Bill Compton", but I admit he's rocking the July/August '11 cover of this magazine.

As I was brushing my teeth last night I thought....I should document my "bachelor" days in NY this week.  I am attending a writing conference, which begins in a few hours from now, so I will be surrounded by scores of women (not such a bad thing if I was a male bachelor)...I do plan on visiting the dive bar that my brother frequents...and who knows what else will ensue. 

I'll have to keep you posted.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Swimming, Dog Sitting, Socializing & Packing (oh, and Writing!!)

My summer is going swimmingly, literally.  My kids and I are at the pool every other day taking advantage of the community pool membership we bought for the summer.  It's a great pool and we've been going there for the past 5 summers.  Often times, we arrive later in the day (4 PMish) and stay a few hours when the sun isn't at its peak hours, my 2 year old has napped and when I've finally had a chance to break away from writing.  Plus, we avoid the mid-day crowd, another bonus.

This week my neighbors waited till the last minute to find someone to watch their dog before they went on vacation.  I don't know about you, but one of the first things we plan before going away is who will watch our cats.  The fact that they were scrambling at the last minute for someone to watch their dog before they left for 10 days had me shaking my head.  They found someone, in another state(!), to watch the dog and I graciously accepted to watch her for 2 days before the couple could drive in and pick her up for the rest of the week.  I couldn't watch her the whole 10 days because I'm not going to be here (off to NY tonight).  In summary, this little dog was a BIG problem - we didn't sleep, she barked the whole time, and growled at anyone who dared to come over to our house...

The kids have been happy because we've had so many different families over to the house lately - for BBQ's, drinks, board games, and outdoor games (family vs. family wiffle ball).  I have to admit that I'm having a blast with it too.  I know the reason why we're socializing more too - and it may seem silly - but I was embarrassed to have people over to my house because my carpet was THAT UGLY.  Yes, we got new floors in our house several months ago and it's made such a difference in our lives. Best investment we've made to the house.

Finally, I'm leaving for NY tonight (Michele is already there as of last night).  We'll both be attending the RWA conference and I'm personally looking forward to the networking & socializing.  Writing from home is great, but I am looking forward to being around people for a week who are involved with the same craft. 

Will have photos to share from the conference & twitter updates as well so stay tuned!!! 


Monday, June 20, 2011

Countdown to NYC

A week from today - Monday the 27th - I'll be getting on a train to NYC to attend the RWA National convention.  Although I feel overwhelmed thinking of all the necessary preparation involved, I'm extremely excited.

In January, I attended a "Cruise with your Muse" conference and it was so inspirational.  I came home so excited to write and had so many stories formulating in my mind.  I think I've been productive since January, with a completed YA paranormal book written and a romantic paranormal almost completed by myself and a co-writer, as well as a paranormal novella written (all are written, not published).  I am patting myself on the back for my writing accomplishments but now I'm in the position where I want to get my work published, I want to start writing new books, and I believe another inspirational conference will maintain my momentum.

Last week was the first week of summer with the kids home from school and one night, after my husband came home, I went to the library and wrote for several hours until the library closed.  Being there, without the distractions from home, was very beneficial.  Today I took all 3 boys to the doctor's office and while in the waiting room my 2 year old became very active (running around, yelling, laughing, etc - all mortifying behaviour) and as I was taking him outside to wait (my older boys stayed in the waiting room and alerted me when the nurse was ready for us) I met a friend and her baby as they were coming in.  I immediately said, "Can I switch kids with you?" because my 2 year old had me so embarrassed and upset.  But, we're home now, he's sleeping and viola, I'm on the computer enjoying this quiet time.

A week in NYC will be great - time to myself, time with my mom (whom I rarely get to see), and time to focus on my writing.  Yes, I'm excited and I'm excited too about the books I'll begin writing when I return.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Happy Hour Dance Party: Irony Mix

Semi-inspired by Life Goes On... ;)

Happy Hour Drink

1/2 oz 151 rum
1 oz pineapple juice
1 oz orange juice
1/2 oz apricot brandy
1 tsp sugar
2 oz light rum
1 oz dark rum
1 oz lime juice

Blend all ingredients with ice except 151 proof rum.
Pour into a tall glass.
Float 151 proof rum on top.
Garnish with a fruit slice, sprig of mint and a cherry.


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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

Manic Monday: Expectations

Too many?

I didn’t expect summer to be upon us as quickly as it has. I also didn’t expect that I would feel as overburdened by my workload as I am. So what expectations did I have? I was looking forward to enjoying the outdoors, finding time to take a mini vacation where I could just do nothing, relaxing and reading the stack of books that have been accumulating, finding more time to write and paint…

Granted, summer is only beginning; still, looking at my calendar only makes me feel pressured to try to live to the expectations I have. Feeling as I am with work and time, I thought about a promise I made to myself as I sat in a leather recliner in my doctor’s office, an IV sticking out of my chest pumping drugs into my veins not even half a decade ago. I told myself that I would just be. 

While I have relaxed a great deal since then- despite what those who know me post-cancer might think- I am still a bit of a Type A person. I need to stop setting all these expectations upon myself and relax. I would say it’s something I need to work on, but I don’t want to worry about more expectations upon me! So I will just be and take things as they come. 

Hoping you all just be this week! 


Too few??

As Michele mentioned above, summer is upon us and with it, those relaxed, fun, enjoyable expectations of just sitting back and enjoying the warm weather (or stifling heat) and having fun with the kids while they're home.  Yet, how long till I'm wishing they're back at school? 

I am setting my expectations LOW this summer.  I will continue to write, mostly in the mornings since that's when I'm most productive. I have re-arranged my daily walks for the early morning (vs. the afternoons) before my husband goes to work so he's home with the kids while I'm working up a sweat.  I will reserve my afternoons for fun-time with the 3 boys (mostly attending the community pool).  And finally, the evenings will belong to my husband and I.   These are my - attainable - expectations for this summer.

But speaking of expectations, something that has been discussed lately in my house is pushing kids too far to excel at sports (at age 8 and 10 specifically).  I feel that too much pressure will eventually backfire once the kids are in their teens.  We will continue to support their sports interests and I do strongly believe that as they get older sports will keep them out of mischief (I hope), but my husband and I are not going to put the pressure of attaining a scholarship on their shoulders at this age, as many parents we are meeting at Little League, specifically, are.

Furthermore, I have recently submitted my writing for review so I'm sitting on pins and needles waiting for feedback.  Will my writing meet their expectations?  That is to be determined...


Friday, June 10, 2011

Happy Hour Dance Party: Heat

Happy Hour Drink

Heat Wave
1 1/4 oz coconut rum
1/2 oz peach schnapps
3 oz pineapple juice
3 oz orange juice
1/2 oz grenadine syrup

Add all ingredients except grenadine to a glass half-filled with ice. Top with grenadine. If desired, add a slice of peach.


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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Working It Out Wednesday: Picnic

"Mom, why don't you blog about E's picnic today." my 10 year old son suggested.  At first, I thought it was a nice idea simply because he was thinking of his younger brother, but then I thought, "Sure, why not" because it incorporates reading & summer, two themes I wanted to touch upon today.

Today marks the official start of our Summer Giveaways!  We've created a separate page for this special event, Ta-Da!!!.  We encourage you to participate in the giveaways and become a fan of our blog if you haven't already.

In celebration of the last week of school, my 8 year-old son's class is walking to a nearby park and having a picnic today.  Parents will also attend and were asked to bring a book to read with their child while picnicking.   It made me think about some of the books I loved to read as a kid and one I'd like to re-read just for the fun of it is James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl.  My kids love the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney and the Dear Dumb Diary series by Jim Benton as well.  Although neither one has ever picked up James and the Giant Peach, I'm delighted that they've found several book series they love to read.

The weather is supposed to be amazingly hot today (heat index of 100 degrees) so we'll try to find a shady spot at the park to eat and read under.  I know my son's very excited about having me and his 2 year-old brother join him for lunch today, and I'm looking forward to it as well. 

Find a happy place to read, enjoy the summer fruit that's now available (I will be packing some in our picnic basket), and be sure to enter our giveaway contest.

Wishing all a Wonderful Wednesday,


Monday, June 6, 2011

Manic Monday: Spark

I saw fireworks this weekend after sharing a kiss with the bf. The earth trembled, the sky lit up, and there was a whistling sound followed by a great, big boom. It was hot! Well, maybe it wasn’t exactly hot, but it was a warm night.

Even brighter than the moon moon moon...

The commercials always remind me of Grease.
We have a drive-in nearby that is always fun. Last season, we didn’t get a chance to go; so I was happy that they were showing The Hangover 2, which we were looking forward to seeing. I love watching a movie outdoors- the stars overhead, fresh air, cuddling. This night, we also got fireworks. I’m not one for them, really, but these were exciting and pretty surprising for a family-run drive-in theater!

 These fireworks cheered me up. I was in a funk due to the week I had at work (it was a short week, too, so that’s how bad it was). I was out of the funk way before the fireworks, but I’m still attributing the change in mood to them. Because they’re fun and sparkly. And because I want to.

I’m going to think of those fireworks and let them spark my creativity this week. And if work starts off the way it ended last week, I'll think of fireworks. Is there anything you use as a spark when you're just feeling blah?

Hope you all have a happy week full of fireworks!


The monkey was the best thing about the movie. Here she is at the drive-in!
PS Skip The Hangover 2. Re-watch the first one. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Happy Hour Dance Party: Nature

June 5th is World Environment Day and this year's theme is 'Forests: Nature at Your Service'.  Hope you enjoy our Happy Hour Dance Party today... And as you dance and drink, think about where lemons come from :)

Happy Hour Recipe
Lemon Drop
1/2 oz vodka
1/2 oz lemon juice 
1 sugar cube

1.Add sugar to the rim of an old-fashioned glass.
2.Drop a cube or packet of sugar into the bottom of the glass.
3.Pour vodka and lemon juice into a stainless steel shaker over ice, and shake until completely cold.
4.Pour into the prepared old-fashioned glass.


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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Working it Out Wednesday: Giveaways!

Summer is soon upon us and with it comes Summer Reading!!!  To add to your summer reading list we will be having some random summer giveaways on our blog over the next few months.  The key is to stay tuned and keep reading our blog.  Our giveaways are to add to the fun of summer but also a token of our appreciation for following & enjoying our blog.

Now, regarding summer reading, I've added a current photo of my nightstand reading.  Currently, I'm enjoying a Harlequin Nocturne book called The Beholder by Connie Hall and as soon as I've finished it I'll read another Nocturne novel called Ghost Stalker by Jenna Kernan.  A fun read I heard about was Bite Me by Christopher Moore so I'm hoping to read that soon too. 
Books currently on my night stand...

For anyone loving Star Wars and Crafts I would like to recommend The Star Wars Craft Book by Bonnie Burton.  The book has fun & easy, "no sew" crafts.  In fact, some of my own crafts are photographed in this book and I admit that they were easy to make and the end results were really cute.  I made a Star Wars T-shirt throw pillow and a Star Wars T-shirt tote.

Finally - who's loving Game of Thrones on HBO?  After each episode I literally sit there and think "wow".  Plus, I'm totally loving Jason Momoa as the strong & sexy Khal Drogo.  I recently got the boxed set written by George R.R. Martin since I'm loving the HBO story so much and am not anticipating the end of the season.  Yet, these are lengthy books so they're not going to be quick reads but I have all summer. 

So what's on your summer-must-read list?  Go ahead and share your summer reading recommendations...

Happy Reading!!!