Saturday, March 31, 2012

And then she was 28...

Goodbye 27! Hello 28!

I ushered in my first day of being 28 by taking a girls trip to Canton, Texas with my mom, daughter, sister and her daughter for SHOPPING! Was really fun and I came home with a new wallet, a beautiful vintage style top, toys for the Little Miss, some awesome salsa mix, a surprise for my hubby, etc. Great day!

My bday Friday was fun too. I had a fabulous group of 17 friends and family go to one of those Japanese grill restaurants where the chefs cook in front of you with fire and theatrics and fun tricks like tossing eggs in their hats (Little Miss LOVED that!) We got sushi and steak and shrimp and veggies, then everyone headed to my mom's house for a two-layer strawberry and vanilla cake (with confetti icing of course)

My hubby surprised me an iPod nano, so I'm really excited to hit the gym Monday with my new tunes! He also had my car detailed inside and - GASP - made the bed. I kid you not.

So far 28 is great. ;)

Will post bday pics next week! Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ohhh ahhh just a little bit...

"Ohhhh ahhh just a little bit, ohhh ahhh a little bit more" - do you remember that song from the 90's? It's annoying because it gets stuck in your head (sorry)

That was my mantra yesterday at the gym. I did the March challenge, and am now all caught up on the monthly challenges and can do April's whenever they get it ready. Yay! The previous challenges were harder than this month's, but I was still working up quite a sweat today. I usually do the challenges outside, but it was warm this morning so my trainer and I just hunkered in the corner out of the way and did 13 different combo moves, 13 times each. Like a step up on a bench while doing curls with dumbbells. Or a bridge on the floor while doing a tricep extension over your head with another dummbell. Or squats with shoulder presses on dumbbells.

On and on and on.

Yes, there were burpees, and I did them better this time than before, though I still feel that's the main activity they will do in Hades. Ironically, the move I was dreading (plank jacks, which is holding a plank position while jumping-jacking your feet) was easy as pie compared to those burpees. Oy!!! I mean really? Who thought of those?!?!?

I almost forgot the lunges. She had me lunge in place - JUMPING into each new lunge.

And then I had to bear crawl outside. I think she just wanted to laugh ;)

It's neat though how results beget more results. In my 9th week now, I'm seeing major results in the mirror, and that makes me just want to work harder and get more. That's why I keep pushing myself - just a little bit more - to keep building muscle, burning calories, toning up, slimming down...

That same theory applies to anything in our life worth doing. Bad days with kids - just a little bit more. Bad day with the spouse - just a little bit more. Bad at school - just a little bit more. Try again. Bite your tongue. Study harder. Rinse and repeat.

Sort of like the Bible verse that instructs us "let us not grow weary in doing good". There's a purpose and an ending to it all that's worth it. Whether that's a six pack abs, children who rise up and call you blessed, or a husband who praises you in the streets - it's going to be good. IF you keep at it.

Just a little bit more!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring is in the air...

We're actually getting some Springtime!

The past few days have been sunny and breezy and warm, but not "hot". We took full advantage - Little Miss had a kite day at Preschool last Friday, which we continued over at the firestation with her Daddy. Then we've been riding bikes outside and taking her Fur Real puppy on walks down the driveway, and "helped" my husband plant some bushes and till a garden. Good times! I even drug a spin class bike outside to the gym parking lot yesterday and pedaled away (in one spot) for 20 minutes. Woohoo!

What are you doing to celebrate Spring?

PS - my birthday is Friday. Talk about the ultimate in Spring celebrations :) Bring on the cake and sushi!!!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Visit me at...


Thursday, March 22, 2012

It might be a good work-out if...

It might be a good workout if you feel like you're going to throw up, and another girl actually does. ha.

Today I did another gym challenge - they make one every month. The other week I did January's, today was February's. Next week I'll do March's, so I will be caught up when April rolls around.

Let me just say I've been working out regularly, 3-4 times a week, for 8 weeks now, and today still kicked my booty. Here's what the challenges look like (they're different every month but this was February's)

100 Mountain Climbers
90 Calf Raises
80 Fire Hydrants
70 Step Ups
60 Second Wall Sit
50 Crunches
40 Star Jumps
30 Chair Dips
20 Pushups (off the curb!)
10 Superman Bananas

The nice part was, we were able to do it outside (me, my awesome trainer girl, and two other ladies) Today is actually Spring, so the cool wind and warm sunshine was super inspiring. Still, when we got to the chair sit, I thought I was going to barf. The other girl had to run to the bushes during the chair dips. Hard core stuff! We finished with a jog/sprint around the parking lot. I just pretended I was running away from my trainer so she couldn't make me do any more star jumps.

I'm proud to say I did it, and even did extra. After taking a break, I went back and did a few more of the ones that particularly kicked my booty, in order to knock out a few more with better form. My trainer says I'm an overachiever. LOL. Maybe teacher's pet? I've been called worse.

Afterward, I did an optional 1.5 miles on the elliptical and my 15-lb dumbbell side bends, then called it a day. I rewarded myself with a giant diet coke with diet cherry from Sonic, and am feeling good! (though somewhat noodle-legged)

Have you ever worked out so hard you got sick or nearly?

PS - whichever evil dictator created the burpee, I'm convinced his son created the star jump and his grandson the superman banana. Just saying

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A girl, a serpent, and an analogy...

Has your pastor ever preached a sermon that made you pull your feet up onto the pew? Mine did this past Sunday!

He preached on snakes.


It was from Numbers 21, where God sent a plague of fiery serpents (yes, fiery, because regular snakes apparently weren't punishment enough!) on the whiny, impatient, moody Israelites.

(note to self - the Bible coaxes us to give with a joyful heart, and to do everything without complaining. Well, this story definitely encourages such action ::wink::)

The Israelites were griping about their conditions and their wilderness wandering, and their steady diet of manna manna manna, and God finally heard enough. (His patience does/can eventually run out, folks. He's loving and generous but He is also jealous and justice.)

So here come the serpents or snakes, everywhere. People were being bit and dying off one by one, all day every day. Finally, the people realized they'd had it pretty good before. They came to Moses begging him to pray to God on their behalf. They humbled themselves, realized their sin, and repented. They asked for deliverance. Moses prayed as they requested, and God told Moses to fashion a bronze serpent atop a pole. Anyone who was bit and then looked at that serpent in faith would be healed, and wouldn't die.


Our pastor shared an amazing analogy on how that represented the salvation story. Anyone (ANYONE!) who looks on Jesus in faith will not perish but have everlasting life. Amen!

But during that Sunday morning, while I contemplated pulling my knees up under me (even though I was in a dress) and kept one ear open for snake-like scuffling under the pews, God revealed to me a different analogy.

God didn't remove the problem from the Israelites. He provided a cure.


I feel this is important for us to see. God didn't blink or snap His holy fingers and remove the problem. The snakes were still there, folks. He could have, but He didn't. He chose to provide the solution instead. Because you know what? If the snakes vanished as quickly as they appeared, the Israelites (God love them, but they seem to have a habit of doing this) would have ventured back into their sinful ways pretty soon after. (and don't we all!)

Instead, God left the problem but gave them a cure. He provided a way for them to live and work through it.

And He does that with us. He did it through sin and Jesus. He didn't remove sin from the world, He gave us a solution to it. Salvation via faith in Jesus and His sacrifice for us on the cross.

And sometimes, even in the daily stuff, He doesn't remove the disease or the problem or the troublesome person or the terrible job from our lives. He provides in a different way.

When my husband was laid off the fire station for a solid year, I begged. I cried out. I asked for deliverance from the serpents, aka, the red numbers in my checkbook. God didn't provide a full time, desirable position right away. He didn't miraculously shove 30 grand in our bank account.

But He provided, and in ways so tangible and so clearly from Him, He got a lot more glory from it all and I got a lot more faith.

Sort of like the Israelites. They still had to dodge snakes. They still had to check the bushes before they pottied and check their tents before they went to bed. The threat wasn't gone. But the solution was readily available. They were kept in a position of humility, because they needed it.

And don't we all?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Whatcha reading?

Whatcha reading right now?

I just finished Lisa Wingate's FABULOUS contemporary novel, "Blue Moon Bay" and oh my goodness. Sensational. Beautifully written, so deep and relatable. I love her first person voice in women's fiction. I highly recommend!

Now I'm reading Karen Witemeyer's historical romance "Head in the Clouds" and so far, it's really cute! I'm only a few chapters in but I loved her novel "A Tailor Made Bride" from a few years ago. I really like the heroine in this one so far. More on that to come! :)

Your turn!! :)

Friday, March 16, 2012

And the winner is...

Thanks for entering my TRUTH OR DARE contest! Fun reveals! See, being honest isn't so bad ;)

And the winner is...



Email me your mailing address to and I'll get your free autographed copy of ADDISON BLAKELY, CONFESSIONS OF A PK in the mail!

Check back again for more contests and giveaways :)

A little Easter prep...with a poodle on the side

So this week has been a blur of working out, catching up on deadlines, finishing up proposals, revisions, keeping up with my Little Miss's busy schedule, a girl's night, church, house projects, cleaning, working from home on my new part time job and of course - shopping for my Little Miss's easter outfit. :)

I mean really. Nothing beats a toddler in a new Easter dress.

Her outfit this year is going to be precious. I'm a bit of a stickler for "she has to be able to wear it more than once" and since toddler girl dresses can be ridiculously expensive, I refused to get anything that was too "easter" in design. I wanted spring that could transition into summer. And I found it at this cute little consignment shop called "Hock Your Smocks" - which is exactly what it sounds like. lol All smocked stuff, barely worn, all sizes, for cheap. DREAM come true for mommies! :)

We ended up finding a precious, pink and green and white gingham print, short-sleeved smocked top and pant set, with the ruffles on the pant leg cuffs. The design on the top is the cutest little poodle! Little Miss saw it and kept saying "that poodle cracks me up!!" So it was the winner. And the entire set was $30. Sweeeeet.

Are you Easter shopping yet? Have you found "your poodle"?One of these days I wanna go all out for church on Easter Sunday with the big frilly hat. hehehe. It just feels right ;) Buuuuut probably not this year.

I love springtime! (I do NOT love the wasps and horseflies already buzzing around my carport)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

C is for Cupcake

There is a bakery here in town called BUTTERCUPS that is amazing.

And the calorie/fat content in one of those puppies is probably equally amazing on the other extreme, but hey. Some things are just WORTH it.

I've been craving one for awhile now, since I've been avoiding them because of the gym. I didn't lose 4 inches by frequenting the shop often ;)

But seriously. It's time. I think I've earned it!! (right??)

This place was on CUPCAKE WARS, my favorite Food Network show, a year or two ago. They are truly the best cupcakes ever, and are giant to boot. Now Buttercups has expanded to cake balls and sodas and coffee and little whoopie pies, but nothing beats their cupcakes. Mmmm. I'm talking Banana Pudding, Chunky Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Strawberry, Pink Vanilla, Wedding Cake, Cinnamon, Mint, Blueberry Muffin, seasonal varieties like pumpkin and...

Okay I gotta quit talking about it.

I just saw this quiz and had to pass it on, since I'm drooling over cupcakes anyway. Might as well embrace it, right?

What'd you get? My results are:


You are a very real person. You tell it like it is, and you try to see every situation clearly.Your life may not be perfect, but you try to make it as perfect as you can. And to do that, you need to own up to everything!People may be overwhelmed by your honesty at first, but they appreciate your candor over time.You don't hide who you are, and who you are is pretty darn great because of it!

Hmmm. Pretty true.

And HONESTLY - I want a cupcake.... ;)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Truth or Dare Contest

So I think it's totally time for a new contest and ADDISON BLAKELY GIVEAWAY! :)

The last contest was so much fun - the picture contest, where readers sent me a photo of them holding up their copy of ADDISON, and were entered to win a fun prize. (congrats again Tonya! Hope those Hello Kitty boots are treating ya well!!! hehe)

Let's mix it up this time. Since I'm giving away a copy of ADDISON, I can't very well tell everyone to send me a pic with their copy already. ;) So....

Let's play truth or dare.

I'll admit it - I HATED playing this game at slumber parties. I always had to tell a truth about the boy I currently liked, because no way was I freezing my bra or streaking the backyard or toilet papering the neighbor's trees. ::shudder::

But this is my blog, so I don't have to play ;) YOU DO! So, in the comment box, either leave a confession of sorts (has to be true!) or leave me a description of a dare you once performed (either during via playing this Truth or Dare game over the years, or by losing a bet, or just in general) Doesn't have to be shocking or impressive, just true. Keep it honest! And remember this IS a public post. LOL.

At the end of the week (Friday) I'll do a drawing and the winner will receive an autographed copy of Ms. Addison in the mail. Sound like fun?

Truth.....or dare? ;)


Friday, March 09, 2012


So today was the day I measured! The dreaded "M-Day". I went out with a friend last night for a girl night dinner, and was so proud of myself. At a steak house that boasted buttery rolls made from Heaven, peanuts at your table, and the best fatty appetizers and desserts around, I simply had grilled Tilapia, grilled skewered veggies, ONE roll with no extra butter on it, and diet coke/water. As much as I wanted the dessert shooters and the cheesey fries, I restrained, because there was no way I would blow it the night before M-Day!

And it paid off!

After six weeks of working out hard at the gym, 3-4 days a week, and slightly moderating my diet (as in, counting calories again but not being overly strict), I lost 2 lbs, 4.25 inches, and 1% body fat.

Not bad! I'll take it! :)

My trainer said that was just right with my goals and my starting weight, and she was pleased with the numbers from all the different areas. We knew I wouldn't drop much lb-wise anyway, since I've been gaining a ton of muscle, and that weighs more than fat. I was glad to see the inches came off the areas I'd hoped though. Woohoo!

So we revamped my workout routine, mixing things up a little (I'm adding the row machine for arms and cardio options, and adding pushups and pullups and more floor routine in regards to lunges, squats and leg lifts, while at the same time ditching the leg press, leg extension, and leg curl machines, etc.....uh, to name a few. Yeah, she keeps me busy!) We'll measure again in 6 weeks and see how it goes again.

I'm very inspired and happy! Besides the obvious benefits of weight/inches lost and feeling better about myself, the endorphins have been fabulous. Since I started working out 6 weeks ago, I've had fewer headaches, slept more soundly at night, had more energy during the day and less need for naps, etc.

I highly recommend finding a gym - preferably one with a 5'6, blonde, booty-kicker named Alyssa like I have at mine. hehehe.

Now the goal is to simply NOT celebrate with a cupcake....

Thursday, March 08, 2012


Sorry! I posted on Scribble Chicks today - I promise ;)

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Crafty at Scribble Chicks

Visit me today at Scribble Chicks and hear something new on writing craft I learned at the local conference last weekend!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

A day for daydreams...

Okay, so I'm in a daydreamy mood today, maybe because our weather this season has been so jacked up. One day I'm dreaming about Vermont or the Alps, the other day I'm dreaming of the Bahamas and Hawaii.


I think Spring is here. Actually I think it's been here for about 4 weeks, and the groundhog was not only confused about seeing more weeks of winter, he was downright wrong. It was humorous at the time anyway because the same day he predicted 6 more weeks of winter, it had already been 80 degrees here. Ha! Sounds like someone should retire.

So I guess I need to accept reality - winter just never happened, and it's time to put away the beautiful orange peacoat jacket and bust out the sundresses. (and go get a pedicure) No more dreams of snowball fights like last year. No more snowmen or watching the neighbors pull a kid on a makeshift toboggan down the icy road behind a four-wheeler. (I told you we live in the country)

Bring on the sunshine. The toenail polish. Cardigans. And...bugs. Yes, the wasps and bees are already out, probably just as confused as the rest of us. (but still sporting stingers so...they win)

So what's your mood today? You feel like skiing or laying out in a bikini? :)

Monday, March 05, 2012

More as promised...

More on the 2012 NOLA STARS conference as requested! (which is the North LA chapter of the RWA - Romance Writers of America)

Here's a pic of me with Connie Cox and Amy Liz Talley, both locals and fellow authors with multiple books. Amy is President of the local chapter.

As I said before, we had about 70 people come and a great line up of speakers, editors and agents, including editors from Bantam Dell and Sourcebooks. The big time!

Friday night we had an invitation-only "President's Tea" for the speakers and staff and editors/agents, an opening ceremony for all attendees, two workshops, an editor/agent panel (which was really fun and funny!) and then an evening finger-food reception where I stayed up late having a fabulous conversation with another woman - one of those God-ordained appointments. Love those! It's so neat to me how God can show up in unexpected places (a secular romance conference!) and bless your socks off.

This is me with Judy Christie and Janice Hanna Thompson, but fabulous CBA authors.

After I crashed and actually slept well in the hotel bed (after making a nest of six pillows and a folded-in-thirds-for-thickness decorative bedspread coverlet to ward off the cold since there wasn't an extra blanket in sight), Saturday started off with a granola bar and Diet Coke in my hotel room (this sounds terrible but was actually a relaxing way to start my day lol) and opening remarks in the Board room. Then several more workshops, a fancy lunch and awards ceremony, workshops, a multi-author booksigning, and closing reception with more heavy finger foods (which I actually skipped to go have a dinner date with my hubby and Little Miss!)

A pic of me Friday night before the festivities. I wanted to document my new purple shirt I now adore, but had no one to take a pic for me yet. LOL.

I taught on subtext, and it was a great class. I had about 30 participants and everyone contributed via questions and the exercises I had prepared. One author of over 45 books joked after the class ended "well I guess I need to go back and rewrite all my books now". haha! As if ;) It was a great time, and of course, I handed out chocolate as rewards ;) (and maybe kept a little for myself....)

My name card reservation seat at lunch for being a speaker :) It's the little things...

This is me with Lenora Worth, author of over 45 Harlequin novels (mostly Love Inspired) and a New York Times Bestseller. She's such a sweetheart and we've been friends and were nearby neighbors for a long time!

I also learned a lot. I loved Janice Hanna Thompson's class on humor, and Amy Liz Talley's on finding your voice and developing it as an author. No matter how many books you have under your belt, you are never past learning more!

So all in all, the NOLA STARS really know how to put on a good show! I think everyone left a little drained and tired but at the same time, inspired and ready to incorporate their new writing skills into their manuscripts! Several also got requests for submissions from agents and editors, and we all had fun. Not a bad weekend :)

Booksigning with Janice and Karen Witemeyer, a writer for Bethany House of historical fiction :)

How was yours?

Saturday, March 03, 2012

MIA for good cause...

So I've been MIA because of this weekend's local RWA conference! (Romance Writers of America) It was a GREAT weekend, we had about 70 people there and I'm just now getting home and settling in! I had a great time and the workshop I taught seemed to go really well and had a wonderful turn out as well.

(ps - totally fun to stay in a hotel alone because there is zero towel consideration. They're alllll mine ;) hehe)

I'll post more on the conference and what I gleaned from it (and pics!) on Monday. For now...nighty night!! It's back to the real world of Tangled soundtrack lyrics, ketchup stains and piles of laundry.

Can I go back to conference now? ;)

Happy weekend!