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Quote of the Week – August 21


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Middle School begins for the kids


Summer has flown by, and the first day of school is here. Our summer actually was a week shorter as school is starting a week early this year in order for the kids to get out at the end of May instead of in June. This past week before school was packed for me since I am PTA president at the Middle School, and there were events every day at the school – making copies, campus clean up, stuffing 1200 Welcome back packets, a staff breakfast and then student orientations. I’m glad that week is done. And as much as I enjoy having the summers with Lexie and Jase, I am ready to get back to my normal routine. This is Lexie’s first year at the middle school and Jase’s last year there. Yes, for this on...
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Quote of the Week – August 14

I try to leave out the parts that people skip. ~ Elmore Leonard Original link
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Recipe of the Month – Spinach Artichoke Pasta


I love Spinach Artichoke dip. One of our local restaurants serves a Spinach Artichoke pasta which is basically pasta mixed with that delicious dip. Wanting to make my own, I searched the internet and found this recipe on The Pioneer Woman website. Delicious! (This recipe makes a lot so I half it.)       Ingredients 6 T. Butter 4 cloves of garlic, minced 2 bags baby spinach 2 cans artichoke hearts, drained and halved 3 T. flour 3 cups milk 1/4 t. cayenne pepper 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese 1 1/2 cup Monterrey Jack Cheese, grated salt and pepper to taste 12 oz (weight) Penne Pasta, cooked crushed red pepper, to taste Directions Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large pot or skillet. Add garlic and thr...
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Quote of the Week – August 7

A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit. ~ Richard Bach Original link
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Trying Noom to lose weight


I set out today to write an update on my experience with Noom, the health app designed by behavioral psychologists to help you lose weight for the long run. Then as I was looking back at my posts, I realized I have never written about my decision to try Noom. Between 2013 and 2016, I have lost weight by counting calories. This method does work. I am proof of that. But it never failed that I would gain the weight back as soon as I resumed eating normally and not watching my calorie intake. This is where Noom comes into play. Yes, Noom has you reducing and counting calories, but they focus on making tangible, sustainable lifestyle shifts. On this diet, there is no food that you cannot eat. You...
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Celebrating seven years of blogging

Image result for champagne toast
Seven years ago, on July 30, 2012, I began this blog. And now 1,678 posts later, I am still here blogging away. Oh yes, things have changed. I use to try and blog Monday thru Friday. I used to host authors every week. As I’ve gotten busier, the number of posts per week/month have dropped, but I still try to blog three days a week. I began this blog to discuss a few things that are important to me – parenting, writing and publishing. And those things are still important to me. If you are new here, please feel free to click on the topics on the left and scroll through some of the posts. I hope you find something of interest. For those of you who want to know why my blog is called “Into Another...
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Quote of the Week – July 31

Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along. ~ George Herbert Original link
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An Arcade-themed breakroom


Last week, I wrote about my husband’s new office and covered some of the decorations that are not found in a typical law firm. The one area that I didn’t cover was the break room. If you read last week’s post, you know that we tend to decorate with things we like – Batman, Avengers, Star Wars, and Indiana Jones. We even put photos of roller coasters in one of the spare offices. So, what to do with the break room… We went with an 80s arcade theme. The main attraction of the room is an arcade machine we bought that has 400 arcade games from the 80s. We needed something to put it on and planned to build a simple shelf. But on a trip to Home Depot, we saw these glass bricks on clearance and that...
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Quote of the Week – July 24

Change your thoughts and you change the world. ~ Norman Vincent Peale Original link
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Moving means more nontraditional decorations for my husband’s law firm


Last year, I wrote about my husband’s law office, and the non-traditional decorations (at least for a law firm). At the time he had seven employees and we thought he would be in that new expanded office for quite a while. Well by April of this year, he had added two additional employees and was busting at the seams in his 8-room office. He had to get a bigger place. Luckily, his landlord had another nearby property and was willing to customize it to fit his needs. In June, he moved into a place with 11 offices, a break room, a conference room and a reception area. We let each employee (except the receptionist) decorate their own office according to their own tastes (with the restriction of n...
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Cutting unnecessary scenes from your novel


Every author at some point will write a scene that just doesn’t really need to be in their novel. The scene might be rehashing something the characters or reader already know. Or maybe it is connecting two scenes that could have been connected another way such as with a chapter break. Every scene in your novel should be an integral to the story arc. If it isn’t, then it doesn’t belong in your story. These unnecessary scenes can derail the plot or bore the readers. So, as you are writing or revising your story, take a good look at each scene and make sure it belongs in your story. Here are 11 types of scenes (or parts of scenes) that might be unnecessary. A day in the life – Sometimes descrip...
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Quote of the Week – July 17

A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinarly results. ~ Wade Boggs. Original link
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No baby fever here


Ah, baby fever – the intense desire some women (and men) get to have a baby. Some people may never feel this. Some parents have one baby and know they are done. Others have two, three, four or more kids and can never seem to shake that desire to have one more. And that desire is often fueled by seeing other women with their newborns. I know quite a few moms that hold someone else’s newborn (or even just attend a baby shower) and get that wishful look on their face even if they know they are done having babies. Nope. Not me. For the longest time, I didn’t want to have children. I think the fear of childbirth was a major put off. But after we decided to have a baby and Jase came along, I knew ...
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Avoiding distractions to stay on task


Staying on task is hard. Really, it is. There are countless distractions whether you are at work or at home. There are ringing phones, text messages, social media, news, co-workers or kids. It can feel like you never get any uninterrupted time. (I felt that way today as I wrote this blog. Numerous times the kids came in to chat.) Often to feel like I am getting stuff crossed off my to do list (whether it be writing, PTA or home tasks), I try working on several things at once (usually 10 minutes of this, 10 minutes of that). And while it might feel like you are being productive since you are multi-tasking, it often is a false sense of accomplishment. You are busy with multiple tasks, but you ...
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Quote of the Week – July 10

When you have a dream, you’ve got to grab it and never let go. ~ Carol Burnett Original link
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Summer break when you are PTA president


Volunteering at my kids’ school keeps me busy during the school year. With summer here, you think I would get a break from the PTA. And you would be wrong. As president of the PTA, the work doesn’t stop when the school year does. School ends at the beginning of June, and it is never too early to start planning for the next school year. In fact, I met with the school principal three weeks ago to plan out the beginning of the school year activities. But before I can really focus on next school year, I had to wrap up this year. That means for one PTA, I had to get files uploaded onto our Google Drive so committee chairs can access those files next year. I won’t be back to this PTA so most of my...
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Quote of the Week – July 3

Remember your dreams and fight for them. You must know what you want from life. There is just one thing that makes your dream become impossible: the fear of failure. ~ Paulo Coelho Original link
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Recipe of the Month – Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars


Oh, yum! Two of my favorite things – Snickerdoodle and Cheesecake – together! I saw this recipe on Facebook and have been meaning to make it. It had great reviews. Maybe I’ll make this for the next staff appreciation luncheon at the school.       INGREDIENTS FOR THE CHEESECAKE LAYER 2 (8-oz.) blocks cream cheese, softened 1/2 c. granulated sugar 2 large eggs 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract pinch of kosher salt *** INGREDIENTS FOR THE SNICKERDOODLE LAYER 2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour 1/2 tsp. baking soda 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon 1 tsp. kosher salt 3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted 1 c. granulated sugar 1/2 c. packed brown sugar 2 large eggs 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 1/4 c. cinnamon...
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Using the S.M.A.R.T. strategy to set your writing goals


Last week, I wrote about how long it takes to write a novel . (Short answer, it is different for everyone and for the different lengths of stories.) But something that helps many writers stay on task and get that novel written is to set goals. And not just any goal but realistic ones. Now before I start in on writing goals, just know that this isn’t for everyone. Some people write sporadically and goals – ones they are likely won’t be able to meet – are only going to lead to frustration. And sometimes goals and the pressure to make them can stifle your creativity when the words just aren’t flowing. But for others, setting writing goals helps keep you motivated and on track. For these goals t...
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