Friday, March 19, 2010

The Ugly Truth

This movie was much more than I was expecting. It had me laughing out loud at its crude, adult humor. The chemistry between Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler was hot. Katherine played a great role as a strong working woman clueless about men and dating. Gerard was an egocentric macho man with a soft underside.

Two big thumbs up!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chicken Salad

What's for lunch?

When I'm home working all day, I usually look in the fridge for leftovers. When there are none, I'm often stumped for a tasty, easy lunch idea. Today I remembered this easy and fast version of Chicken Salad.

Easy Chicken Salad for One
1 frozen chicken breast cooked in microwave on high until done
1 spoonful of sour cream
1 knifeful of mayo
2 dashes of tarragon
1 dash of salt and pepper to taste

This was all I had time for today before I had to leave for an appointment. I used two chicken breasts today, so tomorrow I will add some chopped celery, apple and walnuts to the uneaten portion for my lunch.

This can be served on a lettuce leaf for a low carb lunch or on toast or stuffed in a pita pocket.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Soup's On! (Again)

In the winter I love soup for lunch and dinner. And amazingly, my boys have decided they like my soup this year. And my hubby loves it, too. It is so nice to find a dinner that everyone appreciates, and they tell me!

When I make soup, it never tastes the same twice because I always play around with the quantity of the ingredients. I like the freedom to throw in more or less of whatever I have on hand.

So here is an approximation of what I do to make Chicken Noodle Soup.

Chicken Noodle Soup
1 lb chicken breast, cooked and cubed
1 onion, chopped
Splash of olive oil
5 thick carrots, chopped (or 10 skinny ones)
3 celery stalks, chopped
6 cups chicken broth
1 tsp thyme
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups dry egg noodles

Saute onion in olive oil until browned. Add carrots, celery, chicken broth, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Add chicken and dry noodles. Boil 14 minutes or until noodles are cooked.

It makes enough for my family of 5 to have dinner, and I get at least 2 lunches out of it.

So, go ahead and play with the ingredients and make as much or as little as you like! Enjoy!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Robyn Carr's Virgin River Series

You must read this series of books if you like strong women, stronger men and a small community that pulls together to help those that need it most.

Robyn Carr has an incredible ability to create characters with depth and warmth and humor. I lose myself in her books every time.

Here is the current list of books in print in the series. And she has plans to add more!!!
March 2010 - Moonlight Road
February 2010 - Angel's Peak
January 2010 - Forbidden Falls
Book 8 - "Under the Christmas Tree" (novella)
Book 7 - Paradise Valley
Book 6 - Temptation Ridge
Book 5 - Second Chance Pass
Book 4 - A Virgin River Christmas
Book 3 - Whispering Rock
Book 2 - Shelter Mountain
Book 1 - Virgin River

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Winter NaNo Challenge Update

I can do it, I can do it, I can do it. Yes, I can!

This Winter NaNo Challenge has been a great way to keep me writing regularly. There have been a few days that I added 0 words to my total, but I knew I could make them up the next day or the next. It's kept me writing and moving forward in my story when I probably would have let it slide for a week or more without adding anything.

What I've learned about my writing through this challenge is amazing. I write much better detail and characterization and really take my time in each scene by writing without an outline. I'm not rushing to get from point A to point B to point C, because I have no idea where those points are! I don't know what my characters will do next, so I am taking my time with exploring what they are doing right now.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Winter NaNo Challenge Update

Challenge: 40,000 words in 35 days, average 1143 words per day, 7 days a week

My numbers: 11065 words in 9 days, average 1229 words per day

I'm doing the happy dance because I'm keeping up with the challenge. I had a huge day on Friday, writing 4272 words in a new story. So, now I must stop writing here, open my WIP and get to work!

Happy Monday!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Leap Year!

This past week I went to see Leap Year with Matthew Goode and Amy Adams. I first became fascinated with Matthew Goode a few years ago in a movie called Chasing Liberty with Mandy Moore. If I'm going to be completely honest here, he is one of the main reasons I went to see this movie.

Needless to say, I wasn't let down. I loved the movie and have also determined that Amy Adams is an actress to watch. She first became well known in the Julie and Julia movie. In this romantic comedy, there are lots of laughs, crazy moments and beautiful scenery in Ireland.

Plus, Matthew Goode played the perfect love interest for her character. The chemistry they had between each other made the plot blossom in front of the audience. I think Amy's journey in this movie as a woman in love can touch most women. At one point in all of our lives, we have wanted to do something completely crazy for love. :-)

When I got home, I couldn't wait to continue working on my WIP. Their love story inspired me. My reviews are very positive for this movie. I'd love to hear what you have to say.

Have a fantastic and safe weekend!


Monday, January 11, 2010

40,000 Words - Wow!!!!!

Happy Monday. I have taken the challenge in my writers group to try to write 40,000 in basically a month. I also work full-time and since the challenge started on Saturday, I only have 1,000 words. So, I am already far behind.

However, what I am realizing is that even if I don't make the 40,000, whatever word count I do end up with will be more than I would have had without the challenge. My point it, goals are important, but realizing the 'reality' of a goal is the key.

My reality for this challenge will be whatever I can push myself to do. I am proud to say I'm not going to make myself or my family miserable to get the 40,000 words. I'm selfish, I need my sleep. :-) It has been my goal this year (2010) to make more goals and break them into smaller more attainable things. So far so good. With the love and support of my TLC critique group, I know I'll be very happy with what I end up with. Happy writing, my friends!


Friday, January 8, 2010

Movie Buffs

My hubby and I are huge movie fans. We've even spent an entire week at a film festival where we sat through four and five movies a day for several days in a row.

Last week my mother took my boys overnight, which gave my hubby and I an opportunity to spend an entire afternoon and evening at the movie theater. We squeezed in 3 movies and a pizza.

Our favorite of the day was The Blind Side, which Ingrid has already reviewed for us. Phenomenal story.

The next favorite movie was Up in the Air with George Clooney. It was a little left of center, which hubby and I usually enjoy. We were caught up in the story, but left feeling a little dejected at the not-so-happily-ever-after ending. We're both romantics at heart, and this was not a true romance with a HEA ending.

Finally the third place finish went to It's Complicated with Meryl Streep, Alex Baldwin and Steve Martin. Definitely several laugh out loud moments, but as my hubby said, "I didn't really care for any of the characters."

So a mixed bag of movies, but the pizza was awesome! I think we found our new favorite pizza restaurant in our area. Here's a cheer for Greek Tony's Pizza & Sub Shop. Go Tony's!!! :D

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Frozen Fruit

Happy Wednesday.

I am going to write about a simple way to satisfy that sweet tooth I have. If you are like me and are still trying to shed those extra pounds, this might help us!

Freeze some grapes and when you crave sugar, pull them out of your freezer. I like the red seedless kind. I wash them and put them in snack size freezer bags.

I have also melted chocolate (chips or another kind you like) and dip half of a banana in it. Then I put the banana on wax paper until the chocolate is hardened. Then I freeze them. They are a very good way to satisfy that craving instead reaching for a candy bar.

If you have any other ideas on how to satisfy a sweet tooth, please post your ideas. I would love to hear them. Thank you for reading and have a fantastic day.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Caution: Big Challenge Ahead

My local writing group has thrown down the gauntlet. We are sponsoring a modified NaNoWriMo for our members. For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, which is actually the month of November. This year over 170,000 writers committed to writing 50,000 words in their manuscript during the 30 days of November. Everyone who completes the challenge is a winner.

My local group is holding our writing challenge during the weeks between our January meeting and our February meeting, January 9 to February 13, and we've modified the required word count. We have 5 weeks to write 40,000 words. So instead of writing 1666 words per day for 30 days, I am committing to write 1142 words per day. And by the end of the 5 weeks my family may wish to commit me.

Of all the writers in our group who finish, three names will be drawn to win $25 gift certificates to Barnes & Nobles. Because what better gift to give a writer than free books?!? :D

So, the weeks of January and the beginning of February may be fraught with writer's angst as I attempt to conjure up enough words to meet the challenge. But I love a good challenge.