Friday, August 22, 2014

Summer Recipes to Remember

I promised readers of my weekly newspaper column some recipes inspired by my recent trip to Disneyland. There never seems to be enough column space, so I directed readers here instead, where I have almost unlimited space and I can link to pictures, too.

The #1 recipe that my family requested was a do-it-yourself version of the superlative cake pops shaped like Mickey Mouse's head. I found such resources on the internet from others who have gone before me on this quest.

(Image credit:Disney Food blog)

Never having had a cake pop before, as I'm gluten-free, I had to take the kiddos' word for its amazingness. I found several recipes for the cake pops, but here the simplified recipe is, in a nutshell:

1 batch chocolate regular or gluten-free cake, prepared and crumbled
1 batch chocolate frosting (bought or home made)
Regular size marshmallows
Almond bark- your choice, white or dark

Place the crumbled cake into a large bowl. Warm the frosting slightly for ease of use and combine enough frosting with the crumbs to make a cookie-dough like consistency, but slightly thicker. Press into a 13 x 9 pan and smooth out. Cut out circles with a cookie cutter and place on wax paper. Cut a marshmallow in half and secure to the circle with toothpicks, then dip in melted Almond Bark and place on the wax paper, then top with sprinkles. If desired you can add a popsicle stick or candy stick to use as a handle.

The second treat we adored is the Dole Whip.

(image credit: wikepedia)

This pineapple soft-serve float in pineapple juice is out-of-this-world.

Here are several sites that have copycat recipes:

And this one, the easiest of all:


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Being Bullied as an Adult- Brittany Herself prompt day 10

Today's writing prompt from the list on Brittany Herself is, "Have you ever been bullied as an adult?"

At the Body Love Conference last year, I spoke to a woman after my talk, and the conversation was one that stuck with me. My talks are about Self-Advocacy and learning to speak to what you really desire in life, so it was natural for her to share how she felt. The woman talked about how no one around her would support her efforts as a photographer.

She said that people, people in her family, actively ridiculed her. "You'll never become anything," she was told, because she was fat. And this was as an adult woman. She had tears in her eyes and the moment was obviously difficult for her to talk about. At lunch, at the moments between the breakout sessions, we heard the same kinds of things talked about. How so many, many women are bullied all the time for all sorts of reasons, but especially size.

I have the kind of personality that is easy to bully. I'm the one that is always the butt of the joke, because I'm good-natured and laugh at myself easily. I take responsibility for that. When I don't speak up saying that makes me uncomfortable, I am giving tacit permission for it to happen, and at the point I want it to stop I need to say that. Does saying "stop" happen? Yes, but I also have the kind of personality that doesn't like conflict- ha. So it's a process of getting strong enough to say "please stop" more often. Otherwise, the small jibes (about my not-so-stellar math skills, say, or my lack of direction-finding skills) are cemented into my brain each time they're joked about. Then they become more true.

One of the most funny times I was bullied came at a fourth of July parade. I know, "funny" and "bullied" aren't usually paired up, but sometimes you just have to laugh. (Incidentally, not a bad way to retaliate at anyone who is bullying you!)

I'm with my family at the 4th of July parade in Creswell, a town near where I live. To set the scene, it looks a lot like the parade above: a lot of bunting, kids eager to get the candy that's being thrown, marching bands, classic cars, etc. I was hugely pregnant. I was about 2 1/2 weeks away from giving birth to my second son. Naturally, I was wearing a green silky tank top and skirt, since it was about 100 degrees. It was cute, if I say so myself. So there I was, as comfy as it was possible for me to be at that moment, enjoying the parade with my family. I should mention that I don't often shave my armpits.

Apparently. I raised my arm to shade my eyes or something, since as I walked across a driveway with my group, some guy yells out,


At first I had no idea what he was talking about. It took me a second. Then I got a little red. Then I thought, forget that guy. What does he care if I don't shave? It is easy to ridicule those who do that to you, but that's not my way. I may have thought a lot of expletives, and also sarcastic things like "Sorry for disturbing your delicate redneck sensibilities," but I just smiled.

I should have waved.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Summer Reads Blog Hop

I'm so happy to have the lazy summer reading days be here! I say "lazy," but summer is just as busy for me, albeit in different directions. The point is I plow through the stack of books on my nightstand and Nook because, I don't know, the later light makes me stay awake past my usual 10 p.m. curfew (toddler waking up at 5 a.m. makes that bedtime necessary during the school year but she sleeps in in summer, thank the gods.)

This fabulous blog hop features prizes at each stop as well as the grand prize. For my prize, I'll give away an insulated drink cup that is perfect for all those summer beverages to sip on while you read up on your summer reading list! I gave one away on my last Hop and people loved it! Good for any beverage of your choice...

And I'll share my favorite new summer beverage if you'd like to use your new tumbler for it. I would credit the recipe for this but I'm not sure where I found it! My summer reading list is as eclectic as my taste. I'm reading the fantastic book The Dueling Neurosurgeons, by Sam Kean, and Rez Life, by David Truer. Also Looking froward to the conclusion of Nora Roberts' latest series. Here's the recipe:

Adult Creamsicle

1 shot of whipped cream vodka
1 can Hanson's Orange Natural Soda

Instructions: Simple. Pour in the alcohol then the soda over ice and enjoy! For a non-alcoholic version replace the vodka with vanilla syrup (Torani's is a good one.)Or... sub out root beer or cream soda for an amazing adult float, maybe with a tiny scoop of vanilla ice cream. Use a cookie scoop for the perfect size scoop.

Taking time to relax is something I have to almost make myself do, and summer is a good time to do it. Relaxing is one of the things on my Self-Care list in my new workbook about how to become your own best advocate and cheerleaders, The Self-Advocacy Toolbox: Advocate, Educate and Illuminate your life.

If you're in the mood for more light fiction, I write books about women overcoming difficulties, young adult fiction, and horror (If you need a good chill up your spine!)My latest novel, Brambleberry Farm, follows a woman who's a chef at an organic farm-to-table restaurant and has scads of great recipes like the one above. You can find them all here on my Amazon Author Page.

Here's the grand prize entry:

And, here's the entry for my prize!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now, hop to some other blogs for great prizes and fun reads!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Signing today: Art & The Vineyard

Come on down to the Art & The Vineyard today at 5:30, where I'll be signing books and staying in the beautiful Oregon sun.

I'll have copies of all my books and would love to chat. See you there!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Self-Advocacy Tools: Adaptive Tools

Here is a list of some of the Physical Adaptive Tools I have used. I have other more interactive tools in my arsenal, but this is a short list of what has been useful for me.

*Both walkers and canes. I have what I call my "cane wardrobe" with canes for all occasions
*A three-wheeled bike because I don't drive
*A "grabber" or an arm extender
*Grab bars
*Seat raisers
*Special utensils (foam forms to make utensils easy to grab)
*Special glasses

What are some that work for you? I'll give you a hint of my favorite Tool:

It makes my life so much easier! Plus I can get a lot at the market and/or the Library in it. Put your favorite Tools in the comments.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Self-Advocacy Workbook @ Art & The Vineyard

I'm so pleased to say that the copies of the "Self-Advocacy Toolbox Workbook" have arrived! They're in my hot little hands, and I will be signing it an all my other books at the Art & The Vineyard in Eugene, Oregon at 5:30 in the Oregon Authors area.
Here's the link:

And hers's a great photo that captures what the festival is about.

Come see me! After all, there will be wine... And great books and art. It all goes to support a fabulous cause, the Maude Kerns art Center.

See You There!

Monday, June 23, 2014

The World's Most Powerful Radical Self-Love Website

Sonya Renee Taylor, founder of The Body Is Not An Apology, is starting a new website to reach world-wide and give anyone who could use it the tools for radical self-love.



And be one of the people who help fund it and make it happen.

I spent a weekend in Sonya's company at the Body Love Conference and I fell in love with Sonya's courage, her strength, and the absolute conviction she has that we do not need to be ashamed of ourselves. She is a force to be reckoned with. Her love for herself has helped the over 33.000 people in 42 countries say YES to themselves.

SAY YES and help this happen!