Thursday, February 5, 2015

Share the Love Hop

We're Sharing the Love this week and surprise bombing bloggers and authors we adore with a little love! Hop by all of the blogs for chances to win great prizes at each stop and find out which authors and bloggers we think are so darn special!

I have to start with the blog of a great lady and friend, recently seen on Huffington Post and a generally Fierce body love advocate Chrystal Bougon. She is fierce in defending the right of all women to feel sexy and good about themselves, no matter what size they are. I love her personality and her smile and she is smart, spicy, and savvy. Go to her business for some good loving fun and go to her blog for some inspiration on being happy, sexy, and safe in your own skin.

Curvy Girl Blog

Curvy Girl Store

Next, the blog of another friend, Liora K. She is a photographer, but more a keen observer and advocate of vibrant life in many forms. Another kick-ass advocate (and you see my bias showing) of all people, for love, and for finding beauty in all things. She is part owner of another company, oVertone, that has created an amazing way to keep fantasy color through crazy beautiful conditioner. Mine is on its way. I can't wait. I will be purple!

Liora K website here

Her blog here

oVertone's blog


Third, is the blog of my best friend and incredible artist Beth Robinson. She does fantastic work in multiple genres. If you like art to make you think, she's got an incredible amount of layers to decipher. Recently she's almost done with a Master's in Conflict and Resolution and I can't wait to see the work that comes next.

Her Blog

Lastly, the blog for the book publisher I've been fortunate to work with recently. Books to Go Now publishes all kinds of high-quality books, and I will give a copy as part of my giveaway of the latest book I'm in with them and featuring lots of great authors, the Valentine Best Selling Author's Cookbook.




Books to Go Now Blog



Here is my other prize: a cute magnetic bookmark for Valentine's day and every day. Who couldn't need a new bookmark like this one! And more love all the time is great.



a Rafflecopter giveaway


UPDATE: I just found out the Valentine's book is FREE this weekend! So you get a bonus free gift just for visiting this blog between Feb. 6-8th! Here's the link:

FREE VALENTINES BEST SELLING AUTHORS COOKBOOK FEBRUARY 6TH-8TH!


Don't fret, a winner will still get a copy of the book if you visit here from the 9th through the end of the giveaway. If a winner is chosen by Rafflecopter who already downloaded the book, I will give you a copy of either the Best Selling Authors Christmas Cookbook or my last book Christmas in the Comstock. That sounds fair. Mea culpa-- I wrote this post and scheduled it some time ago and did not realise the Valentine cookbook's free days coincided. Either way, the winner gets a book, and the early birds get one too!


Here is the Link to the other fabulous bloggers on the Hop. Visit them all for a chance to win great prizes and get some new bloggy friends.











Thursday, January 29, 2015

Self-Care Roundup: Thriving Thursdays

I'd like Thursdays to be my new "Self-Care" Days. It's long enough before the weekend that I can actually plan to spend a few minutes thinking about how to accomplish things that focus on good self-care, but still gives me a little bit of inspiration to push through the weekend. To that end, and to my "more blogging this year" goal, I'm starting a new series.

Thriving Thursdays, we'll call it. I love alliteration, so sue me. Also, I love pictures of tiny kittens.

Help Me

Pictures88.com | Thursday | Forward this Picture

This week, all eyes have been on Tess Holiday, whom I met and heard her incredible story last year. Her rise to stardom is well-deserved. I love her hashtag #tooglamtogiveadamn lately as she responds to the trolls that have come out of the woodwork to slam her for being an unapologetic happy fat beautiful woman. She also founded the EffYourBeautyStandards campaign and models for all sorts of lovely things in her fantastic career. Hop to this well-written article by Jes about Tess and how to respond to the haters. Or hell's bells, Google Tess Holliday to see her truly gorgeous self. Don't read the nasty comments though. Read Jes' article instead.

I saw a good short article in the Houston Forward Times called "Love the Skin You're In," by Valecia Weeks. Weeks presents ideas for good self-care, including massage and losing the negative self-talk. My favorite phrase in the article is this, though:

"Instead of thinking about how you look, start thinking about the function of your body, what it can do."


Go read it. It's short, but she has some juicy stuff about being good to yourself. Reminding me that my body is beautiful in its function is something that I need to remember as I clean up unidentified messes in my house and run to another meeting. It's glorious that I can do these things. For me that is especially important, given the nature of my disease. Some days I can't. So I'm damn grateful for the days I can use my body.

The "Women We Are" exhibit that is profiled in the Lansing City Pulse is reminiscent of the work by Jade Beall and Liora K that I've seen over the last year. It looks like a powerful, real portrait of all these incredible people. The article includes some photos of pieces that will be displayed in the exhibit. If you're so inclined, check out the article here.

I wish I could go. Instead, I'll be in deadlines for three books, a newspaper, college, and soccer practices, plus making a million cupcakes for a fundraiser, but a girl can dream.

Curvy Girl Lingerie in San Diego is trying to produce a show featuring "fat, sassy, sexy and proud women" (aka just like me, lol) and they have a real chance to do it. GO HERE and donate if you can to help make it happen! Chrystal is an ambassador for real people having healthy, sexy, fun relationships and I for one want to see more of that kind of positivity in the media. I would love to be in something like this. I can't wait to see people like me out there on TV being happy with who they are. Talk about good self-care: check out her mission and then her store to buy some things that can make you feel great.

Practice good self-care this week! I will. Until then,


Hey Gorgeous

Pictures88.com | Gorgeous | Forward this Picture




Friday, January 16, 2015

Jennifer Chambers in Valentine Best Selling Authors Cookbook


I was so pleased to be included in the Valentine Best Selling Authors Cookbook by Books to Go Now. My Valentine's book release is not quite there yet-- but I live in hope (and hard work). I'm working on my next book diligently. The recipes I included in the Valentine Cookbook are a teaser for the ones included my new book, with my Energy Bowl (my dupe for the PNW favorite "Yumm Bowl") Salted Caramel Cinnamon Rolls, and other yumminess that I'll let you find out soon. The Valentine Cookbook will have free days coming up on Amazon, and I'll be sure to post them here. Until then, here's a taste (ba dum dum) with the scrumptious cover.

There are recipes by Sharon Kleve, Jennifer Conner, Angela Ford, Joanne Jaytanie, Jackie Marilla, Tammy Tate, Samna Ghani, Angela Daulton, and me, Jennifer Chambers. Live body love by making yourself great food all the time, not just on Valentine's day!





Thursday, January 8, 2015

#LoveTheMirror

My friends in Body Love, The Militant Baker and Jade Beall, have done it again! Is "fantastic" too gushy? Don't care. It's a gorgeous piece.

#LoveTheMirror is a new campaign to get people to love themselves exactly as they are. No qualifiers. No excuses. Just love.

I joined the group with my picture, below, on Twitter. I couldn't write my full statement on Twitter (darn those 140 characters) but I'd love to put it on here.


This year, I'm going to #LoveTheMirror because I finally get it. Everything else fades away and it's all about love. Too long, too long have I stepped out of the frame. Too many times have I not seen the beautiful mess in front of me because the only thing I was looking for was the perfection of the unattainable ideal. I take up space. I exist. I'm lucky to be here. I used to confuse taking care of, cherishing, myself with neglecting something else. No more. Being kind to myself only expands my capacity for more kindness.


I'm gonna love the mirror because self-love is revolutionary. It's taking off the expectations of others and believing in my own true self. Everyone should be so free. I only wish it hadn't taken so long. It's all about love. Really. It is.

Please take a minute to check out the original post #LoveTheMirror. I did not get a chance to meet Jade the last time I was in Tucson but I am delighted by her work and look forward to seeing her at the next Body Love Conference. I know a few of the models in this campaign and a more beautiful bunch of people, inside and out, I've not often had the pleasure of meeting.

And take your own!! Love the Mirror yourself. Take a chance on loving the person you see instead of picking it apart. Find the #LoveTheMirror and post your own-- I know they'd love to see more Body Love.

Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 Great Books

Here is my by no means exhaustive but interesting list of books that helped boost my own self-esteem in 2014, with explanations. Enjoy, and post some of your own if you're so inclined. Also included are some I'm looking forward to in 2015!

1. WONDER, by R. J. Pelacio. Such an amazing book. I read it for my middle schooler's Oregon Battle of the Books list and was affected enough to think about it for days afterward. Just a lyrical read.

"Summary: I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse."


2. TANGERINE, by Edward Bloor. A similar OBOB read, but about a kid in a Florida suburb who ends up playing soccer and finding himself. Great read.


3. YES PLEASE, by Amy Poehler, and BOSSY PANTS, by Tina Fey. Yes, they are comedian's memoirs. but so powerful in that these are women who fight for what they want: a seat at the table of all funny greats. Both of their stories are not just amusing, but inspirational. And did I say funny as hell? So funny.


4. This one is a read-in-progress, and I have some issues with it, but LEAN IN: WOMEN< WORK AND THE WILL TO LEAD intrigues me. I'm not sure I agree with the author Sheryl Sandburg on every thing but it's a lot to think about.

5. OUTRAGEOUS ACTS AND EVERYDAY REBELLIONS, by Gloria Steinem. Again a read-in-progress, but these essays are provocative and make me want to shake up my daily thoughts and actions.

More books later- time to go finish the ones I'm in the middle of! Happy reading, all.



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Josey's Christmas Cookie Blog Tour- Sharon Kleve


I'm happy to host Sharon Kleve, a blogger friend of mine, on the blog tour for her heartwarming story Josey's Christmas Cookie. The book is from Books To Go Now. Sharon has some great prizes to give in the rafflecopter at the end of the post. I encourage you to get this Christmas read, and go check out the other books (many!) by Sharon at any of her sites linked to below.


 




BLURB:


In the blink of an eye, Josey lost the most important people in her life, her parents.


Can a hound dog named Cookie, a pair of mourning doves, and a passionate vet bring the holiday spirit back to Josey's life in time for Christmas?


 


EXCERPT:


As I stared at the pathetic dog in his diaper, I realized no one wanted the dog, they were just gawking at him. The sign said his name was Cookie, part Basset Hound and part Redbone Coonhound. I didn’t know anything about either breed. I did know he was very large and he was slobbering everywhere and he should have a diaper around his neck. I turned to continue my search and a felt a tug on my pant leg. I looked down and Cookie had a hold of my jeans. When our eyes met,Cookie's eyes twinkled, just like Clint's.


 


A glob of drool hit the top of my shoe. He let go of my pant leg and licked the goo off my shoe. I wanted to say, "gross," but instead I said,"thank you." I was hooked. His fur was a reddish brown and soft as silk. Not caring about drool or dog hair, I sat down on the floor next to Cookie, wrapped my arms around his neck, and finally felt at peace.


 


Another glob of drool hit the floor next to my butt. He looked sad, like that was a deal breaker and I'd leave him behind. I looked Cookie in his sad eyes and laughed. He pulled back his goofy lips and smiled back.


 


That's when I heard Clint's voice, "Well Josey, it looks like you found your soul mate."


 


He laughed, but not at my expense.


 


 


ABOUT SHARON KLEVE:


 
Sharon Kleve was born and raised in
Washington and currently lives on the Olympic Peninsula with her husband.




Sharon is a multi-published author of
paranormal and contemporary romance. She loves romance. She loves reading
romance, living romance, and especially loves writing about romance. She gets
no greater feeling than watching her characters come alive in each other's
arms. Most of all, she loves giving her characters the happily ever after they
deserve
with a few bumps and bruises along the way.


One of her favorite things to do is
picking up a new book and sinking into the story, immersing herself in the
emotions between the characters. She hopes to inspire her readers the same way
her favorite authors have inspired her.


When not writing, she can usually be found
either curled up in her recliner with her cat and a good book, or in the
kitchen baking sourdough bread or bagels.



 


CONTACT SHARON HERE:


 


























 




 


 


GRAND PRIZES


 


(1)
$5.00 gift card


(2)
Audio books or (2) eBook copies. Winner’s choice


 


 

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies! Gluten-free (but still tasty!)

In preparation for the Josey's Christmas Cookie Blog Tour, which will be coming up tomorrow with a feature from author Sharon Kleve, I'm re-posting one of the most popular recipes on my blog. It was inspired by a recipe from another author. Lucy Burdette, and her recipe on the Mystery Partners website. I made hers gluten-free because I wanted to eat it so badly... maybe I shouldn't admit that.The crowning glory of these for me is the fact that my family didn't know they were gluten free. There is no higher praise for a baker who was formerly proficient than this.


Gluten-Free Peanut-Butter Cookies With a Twist Ending
Adapted from Lucy Burdette

Ingredients:

Step One
1/2 c. Salted Butter
1/2 c. Shortening, butter flavor
1 1/2 c. crunchy Peanut Butter
1 c. packed Brown Sugar
1 c. Granulated sugar
2 Eggs
3 t. Vanilla Extract

Step Two
2 c. Brown Rice Flour
1/2 c. White Rice Four
1/4 c. Tapioca Flour
1 t. Xanthan gum
(You can use 2 3/4 c. Gluten-free flour blend instead of the above flours if you prefer. Make sure to add the Xanthan gum if your flour blend does not include it.)
1 t. Baking Powder
2 t. Baking Soda
1/2 t. salt

Step Three
1/2-3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 t. chili powder (if you like the twist ending)

To make:
Cream together the butter and shortening with the brown and white sugars until fluffy; add the Peanut Butter, mix to combine, and then add the eggs. Mix until absorbed and add the vanilla; stir.

If you want to get all fancy, you can mix together the flours, Xanthan gum, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, and Salt in a bowl with a fork before you add to the butter mixture. Lots of recipes tell you to do so. I'm here to tell you it's a good idea and one I stand behind (it blends things well) but yep, I don't do it. Call it my little piece of anarchy. If you're me, toss the flours and dry ingredients on top of the wet stuff in the Cuisinart and give 'er a whirl. Don't worry about how long it takes to mix-- with traditional flour recipes you don't want to make a baked good tough by overmixing. Not the case in Gluten-free baking since there's not gluten to get all stringy. Make sure the flour mixture is blended well. It will be thick and clump together. Divide the well-blended cookie mixture between two large sheets of waxed paper and shape into an approximate log, wrap the ends, and refrigerate for about a hour. I have it on good authority that if you rotate the logs, they won't get a flat spot, but yeah... I'll leave it at that.

When you've waited the requisite hour (or 45 minutes if you're desperate for cookies) remove from the fridge and slice into 1/4 inch slices on a Silpat-lined baking sheet. They will spread, but not as much as traditional cookies, so place them accordingly. Mix the sugar with the chili powder if you wish, or leave it plain, and dip the tines of a fork in the sugar before putting crosses in each cookie. (See my photo above if you need directions but I'm pretty sure you can get it on your own.)

Enjoy! I like Adams' peanut butter, which is available nationally, or the grind-your-own variety if you want to get really decadent. I tend to eschew shortening in recipes but I find that in a refrigerated cookie it hold up well to use a half-and half kind of thing. Please know that an all-butter recipe would work just fine. These logs of dough will keep, refrigerated, for about a week, or they can be easily frozen, which is good if you happen to have any teenage boys living at your house who never stop eating (ask me how I know this!)