Where I recommend things

1. Best. Salad. Lunch. Ever.

Not kidding here. It’s absolutely yummy. So good it tastes like it should be bad for you, or have something in there that’s not the best for you…but it’s actually really healthy to boot!

This is where I got it:

http://ohsheglows.com/2011/09/12/5-make-ahead-vegan-gluten-free-lunches-part-2/

www.ohsheglows.com is a great site for anyone interested in eating savoury meals that are also super healthy. She has vegan stuff, but it’s not limited to that and she’s written two books because her recipes are that amazing. The one I just rambled on about is from her lunch menu and she actually puts it in a pita bread but it’s so yummy, I eat it with a fork. It’s the Brown Rice and Chickpea Salad. Delish.

2. Best How-To-101 reference site for authors out there.

This is where I got it:

https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/how-to-101/

I’ve talked about Chris The Story Reading Ape before. He is a never-ending source of great resources for writers of all kinds and, to boot, he’s incredibly kind. But this reference page just blew me out of the water. It’s got everything. And he keeps updating it! No dead links here.

A huge thanks to Chris for his never-ending support of all writers out there!!

How to Publish an Ebook: Resources for Authors…

Absolutely a must read for authors who are trying to get epublished. Not an easy process and definitely, this post with its great repertoire of links is a great help. Thanks again for Chris sharing this wonderful resource!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Article by Jane Friedman, on her site:

About the only thing that remains constant in ebook publishing is that it changes—everything from the services to marketing strategies.

Here, I regularly update best resources I know of related to learning to publish an ebook, finding the right e-publishing distributors and services, and staying on top of changes in the industry.

Get further details at:

Resources for Authors

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Great blogging tip

If you’re interested in finding out how to keep a post permanently on your home page, check out this great post on WordPress Sticky Post from Chris the Story Reading Ape’s blog. It’s super easy, comes with pictures and I found it very helpful. A huge thanks to Chris for that awesome post!

 

If we were having coffee…

(credit: wikimedia)

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that Ocean, one of our two super-spoiled akitas, might be a bit sick. She’s been licking herself to the point that she’s irritating her skin, driving my hubby up the wall and worrying me to bits. We have an appointment with the vet on Thursday and I hope they’re on a listening mood because I’m going with all my worries real and imaginary.

I’d also tell you that I finally have an appointment with a dietitian about our recent switch to plant-based food. I have to make a 3-day diary of what I eat and drink and then show it to them so they can tell me how balanced it is or how to improve it. I’m really looking forward to it because I want to know if we’re missing iron or proteins or vitamins as soon as we can so we can fix it. I’m also worried about my water intake. I might be part gecko because I don’t think I drink enough of the stuff.

Finally, before you started to think I was totally normal, I’d moan about our weather. It’s minus 26 with the wind and it’s March. Time for Mother Nature to get on with the program and start easing off. Worse, there’s a massive storm on our way for Tuesday. We already have warnings and special statements online and it’s only the weekend.

I am so not excited about this.

How about you? How is your weekend going?

Credits: Weekend Coffee Share is a meme developed by Part Time Monster and now hosted by Nerd in the Brain

Zucchini soup to die for

I’ve never tried Zucchini soup before. Not that I don’t like zucchini but I have never really given it much thought. It was green, funny looking and just another veggie.

My sister gave me the link for this recipe and she insisted this one was awesome. Since it was vegan, I thought I’d give it a shot. Boy, am I glad I did. I could live on this stuff. It’s that good.

The recipe is super easy (the way I like recipes) and from the Website Eating Made Easy. If you’re into soup or like to try something both healthy and easy to make, give this one a shot. Man alive, this stuff is good.

Pictures do not give it justice.

It honestly tastes like a restaurant soup that some amazing chef put together. And I just made it. Me! It boggles the mind.

 

A healthy option for lunch

Here’s my latest attempt for lunch.

It’s a whole wheat wrap with hummus, then sliced carrots, peppers, shredded red cabbage, avocado and sliced cucumber.

This is the same wrap…well, wrapped up and ready to go. With an apple, a banana and some walnuts, I’ll have an excellent lunch.

The joy of this lunch is the fact that I cut and sliced and shredded tons of extra veggies, so I can make other wraps in seconds now because the ingredients are all ready in my fridge.

If you go and try this, let me know what you think!

Where my blender dies…

Our blender died. Yeap. Our super especial, royally cheap blender died. Lovely hubby immediately decided it was my fault even though it died while he was using it. Apparently I didn’t put enough water in it (right) and the thing died because of it. Sure.

Anyway, we headed to Costco where we stared at the appliances wondering about buying a new one because we’re totally addicted to our fruit smoothies. But the things on the shelf there were at least $400 and looked both massive and super serious. Knowing our ability to break things, I said that’s ridiculous and nope. Then lovely hubby found a strange contraption for $99 and he immediately thought that was the thing to get. I wasn’t so sure.

The thing he had found wasn’t a blender…it was some sort of blender-wanna-be thingy that managed to look both new and super dodgy. So I said, nope and, since I never say no, we left and headed to our trusty appliance outlet.

The outlet is super odd and dodgy. The ceiling leaks, the door is broken and only one till works. Still the deals there are awesome, so in we went. There we got a new blender for $39. Delighted, we headed home…where we found out our new blender was…well, not so new and it was rusty, dirty and smelled…

That’s also when I remembered that our outlet doesn’t give you your money back. It only gives you credit in the store IF you have the original receipt AND you bought the item within 7 days.
And that’s when lovely hubby threw a hissy fit.

So, today we have to head back to the Costco outlet to see if we can get credit in the store. Go back to Costco (where we have been on a daily basis since Friday) and get that bullet-blender-wanna-be thingy.

I’m pretty sure that thingy is not going to work. But, having witnessed one hissy fit, I have no desire to see another. Who knows that contraption might work.

Obviously an update is coming your way soon.

… on winter hanging on

Just loved this post. Loved it. The humour in it is just delicious. And those pictures are gorgeous. Made me wish I lived by the sea.

just ponderin'

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Parade!

This has been one of those crazy busy weeks with happenings, some lots of fun, and good, and some very not. So It was amazing to, about twenty minutes ago, pull into the driveway at The Inn*.

The crunch of the gravel drive, the wind off the water causing the ancient tree branches to arch and sway… John said he’d get the dogs out of the back (Marshal insisting he needed out right now!) and I could just head in, turn up the heat and make fires in the fireplaces. All of this sounded so good… until.

Until it was twelve degrees.

But not your average twelve degrees in, like, a normal place.

Twelve salt-water enhanced degrees on the coast of Maine where, I might add, we had nearly spring-like temperatures less than a week ago!

Oh ya, I’ll say it.

Mother Nature?

LIAR!

So after I screamed…

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Where I judge others

I’m going to be honest here, I judge people. I know I should not make passing judgements, but the truth is, I judge them. Worse, I have criteria.

1. You have a pet.

If you have a pet, you’re already my friend. We might not know each other, but you’re already in my circle of people I like and trust. Everything counts in my book, from a mouse to an exotic bearded dragon, if you have a pet at home, I like you–even if I don’t know you.

2. You have a dog.

Of course, if that pet should happen to be a dog, you’re among the few and friendly best. There’s no logical reason for this discrimination, but I find that dog owners (and cat owners are included in this category) are super kind, friendly people who happen to know what it’s like to wake up in the middle of the night because your best furry friend just puked up their dinner.

3. Your dog is massive, drools or you have several dogs.

These are a rare kind of people that must be cherished. They know what it’s like to have drool everywhere, to have many, many towels to hand to a guest as soon as they walk in the door. They understand what it’s like to try to pet your dog but your arms don’t reach around his girth. They know what it’s like to have such dog try to get on your lap because they don’t understand that they’re not a puppy and weigh around 150 lbs. They understand about being outnumbered at walk-time and know that the couch is theirs only for periods of time.

 

I find these are rare, precious individuals who have loving, warm hearts and aren’t afraid of a little dirt. They may not keep up with current fashion trends, but they know everything about trying to keep a house from smelling of dog and giving up during spring when said dog (or dogs) are perpetually wet.

Dog people understand like few can.

So, if you find yourself watching the beautiful parabolic arch of drool going from your furry friend’s mouth through the air into your cup of tea…don’t scream in frustration. Come and tell me all about it.

Trust me. I’ve been there.

 

 

Review: The next best thing by Kristan Higgins

The Next Best Thing is an absolute gem. It’s slightly different than the other Kristan Higgins books I have read and the differences are all good. It’s still got her fantastic humour and great characters but this one has a little bit more. I had to read it in one go. There was no way I could put this one down, I read it and I cried and laughed. It was just incredible.

The Next Best Thing tells the story of Lucy who is a widow while being in her early twenties. Her late husband was Jimmy and we get to know him well in the book, because Lucy still adores him.

Lucy met Jimmy through his brother Ethan, a friend she knew at cooking school. They met, saw each other and that was it. One look was all it took. They were married not long after and Jimmy died only months after that.

To say Lucy was devastated by the loss is to put it mildly. The book picks up the story five and a half years after Jimmy’s death when Lucy decides to start moving on but her heart has other ideas. She has panic attacks and crying bouts. It’s not easy to leave behind the love of your life.

Helping her through the entire mess is Ethan. He’s like a rock for her. Over and over, she insists that she and Ethan can’t take things to another level because she’s not ready and he respects that. It takes Lucy a long time to figure out what her heart has been waiting for and to find the courage to act on it.

Being happily married myself, I can’t imagine the sort of loss that Lucy bravely faces. I cried for her broken heart and the pieces that were gone. I truly believed someone would go through the grief and dark places that Lucy goes through. I understood her stumbling attempts at trying to put her life back together. Grief isn’t neat and orderly, it’s gripping and devastating. People don’t emerge from that sort of loss complete and without scars.

But the moving, incredible part of the story, was Ethan. Solidly supportive, he hides his own feelings in order to be there for her. And, though I was pretty ready to not like Ethan for taking Lucy away from Jimmy, by the end of the book, I adored this hero, who had stood by her for years waiting for his happily ever after.

There are also great secondary characters here, in Lucy’s family and friends. I won’t spoil the book by giving away too many details, but I will say that they were warm, funny and inviting. I would have loved to visit and meet them all.

There are twists and turns in the story. Things are revealed at the end that made me stare at my dogs in awe and get goosebumps up and down my arms. I cried and laughed and rejoiced when the book arrived at the ending. I couldn’t wait for Ethan and Lucy to get together.

I can tell this is one story where Kristan Higgins has put a lot of work. It’s not just a happy, go lucky contemporary book. This is one that would definitely win awards.

If you haven’t already realized it, I would strongly recommend this book to anyone. I really believe this is an example of romance writing at it’s best. Not simple fluffy story, this is a true love story in all its glory. It’s one to treasure.

(credit: kristanhiggins.com)

(credit: kristanhiggins.com)

Note: click on cover to go to site.