Happy Thanksgiving!

This is always a fun week. It’s half business, half party. I usually cram a ton of work in the first days so I can pig out, chill out and enjoy Thanksgiving the rest of the week.

We’ll be watching football (Lions on Thanksgiving, and Michigan vs. Ohio State on Saturday–Go Blue!), eating lots of food and spending time with family we don’t see as much as we’d like to. There will be NO shopping! This makes me very, very happy! I’m a terrible shopper, and crowds give me the shivers.

I’m thinking of buying one of those adult coloring books I’ve been seeing in the bookstores. My nieces are getting older, and my kids are definitely getting older–but I still like to color, so maybe we could all take a sheet and give it a whirl! We’ll see!

In case you were wondering, I have done nothing to prepare for Christmas. No cards, no decorations, no lists, no cookies, no music–nothing! That will have to change next week, but for now, I’m enjoying November.

I’ll be taking a blog break until next week. Enjoy the end of November and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

 

I’m Embarrassed To Admit This But…

I’m Embarrassed To Admit This But…

I try to live a healthy lifestyle. I want to eat clean and be fit, really I do! However, I fall far short of my health goals far too often.

I’m embarrassed to admit this but…there are days I don’t eat a single vegetable or fruit.

I know!! It’s ridiculous. Sure, there is probably a tomato lurking in the spaghetti sauce, but as far as an honest-to-goodness serving of veggies or fruit? Nope.

Here’s the problem. When I have a few days with woefully inadequate produce intake, I get pudgy. Then I let a few days lapse where I don’t exercise. Before you know it, I’m 3-5 pounds heavier. And MAD at myself! UGH! Who wants that?

I’m not a picky eater. I love most fruits, and I love most vegetables. So why am I not eating more of them?

I took ten minutes last week to figure this out. And I came to the conclusion it doesn’t matter WHY I skip them; it matters that I STOP skipping them. But how? After enjoying a few mini-chocolate bars for inspiration (ironic, isn’t it?), I hit on a solution that I knew would work.

I love smoothies. I usually throw a few servings of fruit in the blender with some yogurt and protein powder. What if I skipped the yogurt and substituted a cup of leafy greens? This would guarantee I’d ingest 3 servings of daily produce. Yes!

I tried it. Couldn’t taste the kale (thankfully! I’m not a fan of kale, but it’s good for me, and I’m trying to sneak more in). The smoothie contained two servings of fruit and one serving of leafy greens. Bingo!

Another problem popped into my mind. Sure, I made the smoothie and enjoyed it, but would I really rinse and chop kale and strawberries on a regular basis? Like, every day? I’m a creature of habit. I don’t want to think about my afternoon snack–I just want to eat it. The smoothie is a perfect solution.

Each week I purchase a big bunch of kale, bananas, strawberries (or other fruit like blueberries or apples). I cut them up, measure them out into one-cup servings and separate the ingredients into baggies. Each afternoon, I grab a baggie of kale, a baggie of strawberries (or I cut up an apple) and a banana, add 1/2 cup of low fat milk, 1/2 cup of ice and a scoop of vanilla protein power (this can be omitted), and I blend until smooth.

 

Jill Kemerer's Daily Smoothie

 

Knowing I’m eating three servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day gives me peace of mind. In fact, this one change prompts me to be healthier all around. I don’t know why, but it does!

What helps you stay healthy? I’d love your tips!

Have a great day!

 

The Mental Relief of Getting Organized

As many of you know, I’m a pretty organized person. I’m not obsessive, and I often let things slide, but overall I feel good about how I run my business and household. That being said, it’s often difficult for me to schedule the icky tasks when I have a deadline or have a million other little things to attend to. Who wants to deal with outgrown clothes, expense reports and making appointments when they could be watching a Hallmark Christmas movie? Not me!

 

Mental Relief of Getting Organized

 

The problem with letting the organization slide? It clogs my brain. My income-expense system consists of a manila folder to shove all my receipts and check stubs into–and the thick file stresses me out. Overgrown clothes spill out of our hall closet until I make time to drop them at Goodwill. And don’t get me started on my digital photos! Out of control! Besides that, birthdays loom with no gifts purchased, a dying remote needs to be replaced, eye and hair appointments need to be made, and I have a stack of unread magazines that would make a grown woman cry.

How do modern women do it? I mean, we aren’t even talking about the general stuff–the parent/teacher conferences, sports, keeping the family clothed, paying bills, random (and constant) meetings, meals, homework, and such. I just got a shiver.

Anyway…this week has been lovely because I spent the weekend organizing my business life. I created a business plan to keep me on track next year. I’ve also taken care of the outgrown clothes and the digital photos. The dying remote? Finally ordered a replacement. The income-expense issue? Pulled up my big girl pants, grabbed some chocolate, and created an actual *gasp* report. I tossed a few unread magazines in the recycling bin and plan on enjoying the rest this weekend. I also did some online shopping for the gifts still needed (and no, we aren’t talking Christmas yet).

You know what? My brain feels clear. I still have cluttered areas of life, but I’m making progress, and I feel so much relief getting these tasks off my mind.

Colossians 3:23 (NIV) Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.

I realize not everyone gets mentally cluttered with shoddy organization, but clutter–mental or physical–really stresses me out.

Do you get stressed when everything piles up? What brings you mental relief?

Have a fantastic weekend!!

Top 10 Reasons to Love NaNoWriMo by Michelle Lim

Top 10 Reasons To Love NaNoWriMo By Michelle Lim

Happy Friday, everyone! Today I’m excited to have a special guest, Michelle Lim! For all you writers out there, November is national novel writing month! NaNoWriMo is where writers sign up to write a 50,000 word novel in one month. I’m passing this year but cheering all my friends on! Look for information below about Michelle’s new book, Idea Sparking: 30 Idea Sparks to Write a Novel in a Monthonly $0.99!!

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Top 10 Reasons To Love NaNoWriMo

 

  1. Gives you an excuse to gorge on chocolate. What better reason can there be for eating too much chocolate than the need to get an obscene number of words on the page.
  2. Pushes you to finish a whole novel in a tenth of the time you might normally spend to accomplish the same thing. It may be slightly certifiable, but there is absolutely no reason not to achieve a goal that could let a novelist take a longer vacation later in the year.
  3. Forces you to turn off your inner editor. For those of you who struggle with writing a plot draft, the time frame makes you keep moving forward to the end of the novel instead of obsessing over edits in one scene.
  4. Helps to grow your support system. Often we take too much on ourselves and leave others out of the joy of journeying with us. The thirty-day novel requires us to glean support from those around us. It gives them a chance to share in the journey.
  5. Makes you empathize with your character’s black moment. Right about the time in week four when you are working on your character’s black moment, you are experiencing one of your own. It can make this scene more powerful.
  6. Gives you an excuse to wear pajamas all day. There is the whole fun of wearing pajamas all day every now and then. During NaNoMonth you have 30 reasons to wear pajamas. . . Day 1, Day 2, Day 3. . .
  7. Freedom from kitchen duty. If you don’t love to cook or clean, this month may be your solution to it all. The one time a year when you can look to your spouse with puppy-dog eyes without even feeling guilty.
  8. Guilt free caffeine consumption. If you love caffeine, this is the month for you. Staying up late to write a novel gives you plenty of reasons to enjoy your favorite blend.
  9. A thirty day edit free existence. Not a big fan of editing? Than join NaNoWriMo and turn off your inner editor for a whole month at a time.
  10. The perfect excuse not to have your mother-in-law over for dinner. Plead out of this age old tradition during the month of November and blame it all on your career.

Looking for some NaNoWriMo Tips To Write Your Novel In A Month?

 

Idea Sparking

 

My newest release: Idea Sparking: 30 Idea Sparks to Write a Novel in a Month is a great way to help you spark your novel.  It is Selling for $0.99 on Amazon!

Join the Idea Sparking Adventure:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Michelle LimAuthor Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s Genesis winning romantic suspense is represented with Books & Such Literary Agency. Michelle’s New Release – Idea Sparking: 30 Idea Sparks to Write a Novel in a Month releases October 27th. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories. Connect with Michelle as www.thoughtsonplot.wordpress.com , @MichelleLim24 on Twitter, and Facebook.

 

What are some other reasons to love NaNoWriMo?

Thanks so much for being my guest today, Michelle!

Thirty Days of Thankfulness – Writers

One of my friends, the lovely and talented, Kristina Knight, always participates in #30DaysofThanks on Facebook and Twitter, and I decided to do the same this November. Kristina has a new release, too. First Love Again is her second Harlequin Superromance and it’s out now! Click on the picture below for links to purchase!

 

First Love Again

 

Back to the being thankful portion of this post…

Today I’m thankful for dear writer friends.

Friends like Kristina. We met several years ago, and we clicked right away! Sure, I suggested some dubious scenes during our brainstorming session, but she looked past my craziness. She’s my brainstorming roommate and an inspiration to me!

I’m blessed to be part of a local writer’s group. These ladies (and a few gentlemen) keep me motivated, have held my hand through hard times, have celebrated the good times, and continue to hold me accountable to moving forward with my dreams. Thank you, MVRAI!

I’m also thankful for all my close writer friends who don’t live near me, but we support each other through modern technology. What a blessing!

Then there are the writers who keep me in their hearts, and I keep them in mine. Maybe we only talk or email once or twice a year, but no matter. You bless me! I hope I bless you!

And I’m thankful for all the writers I have yet to meet. The ones who are living their dreams of being published authors and the ones who are persevering, patiently (and not so patiently) holding on until their break comes.

For all you writers out there, Michelle Lim has a new book out! Idea Sparking: 30 Idea Sparks to Write a Novel in a Month (linked) is only $0.99! I hope it sparks an idea for you!

Idea Sparking

 

What are you thankful for today?

Have a terrific day!!