Friday, March 23, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-March 23, 2018

It's Friday! Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain.  I am her co-host.

Sorry I'm posting a bit late in the day.  I forgot to write this post ahead of time, and I had a lot of errands to run today.  So the first thing I'd like to celebrate is having a productive morning and getting the grocery shopping done!  Zoe kept trying to snag things off the shelves the whole time, but we got through it without breaking anything.  I'll consider that a win any day!

The next thing I'd like to celebrate is eating healthy.  My husband and I have decided to eat a healthier diet, and I'd like to get more exercise when I can.  Nothing crazy, but I need to get into better shape.  It's a good thing I love eating salad!

I also have a guest post up on the Write . . . Edit . . . Publish blog for anyone who would like to check it out!

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, March 16, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-March 16, 2018

It's Friday, and that means it's time to Celebrate the Small Things.  Our thoughts are with our wonderful host Lexa Cain as she endures some heartbreaking personal struggles.

I'm celebrating a chance to do something fun with my kids.  The elementary my boys attend are having a carnival and family movie night this evening.  They're so excited about it, and I'm sure it will be a good time.

I'm also celebrating good weather.  It's been lovely here the past couple of days, and I hope that means spring is truly around the corner.

WRiTE CLUB's submission period is open, and if you want to take part, the deadline is April 1st!  If you've ever thought of submitting, now is your chance!

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, March 9, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things: March 9, 2018

I don't have a normal post this week.  Instead, I would like to focus on our wonderful host Lexa Cain.

Many members of our blogging community recently learned via Facebook that her husband passed away.  I cannot imagine the pain she is dealing with right now.  That kind of loss has to be absolutely overwhelming, so I would like to ask everyone who can to stop by her blog and wish her the best.

Life is short, and the world tends to remind us of this fact in one way or another.  People may leave us far sooner than we ever imagined, but we are far better off for having had them in our lives.

Time is precious.  We should celebrate that, and when tragedy strikes, we need to support one another.  

We're all thinking of you, Lexa.  Your husband sounded like a wonderful man, and the world is surely better for having had him in it.  Our thoughts are with you, and we all hope you have people around you to guide you through this difficult time.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Insecure Writer's Support Group: March 2018

It's the first Wednesday of the month, and that means it's time to convene another meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group.  Our leader Alex J. Cavanaugh has collected a wonderful entourage of co-hosts for this month: Mary Aalgaard, Bish Denham, Jennifer Hawes, Diane Burton, and Gwen Gardner.

Be sure to visit the IWSG website!

Progress on my novel WIP has slowed some due to a busy week, but now I'm ready to get back on track!  I've also had some good fortune with shorter pieces I've written, and I'm letting the resulting optimism carry me through on days when the words don't flow as well as I'd like.

Now for this month's question: How do you celebrate when you achieve a writing goal/finish a story?

Well, I start by doing a happy dance.  I am not going to share details regarding how the dance goes, nor am I going to furnish anyone with a video of said dance.  That would be humiliating, as my coordination and style are sorely lacking when it comes to such things.

Then I follow that up with a bottle of wine in the evening.  There's something nice about sipping some wine with my husband while basking in the glow of accomplishment.  While there's always more writing or editing in the future, I like taking some time to feel proud of what I've done.  It helps keep me happy and motivated.

How do you celebrate when you achieve your writing goals or finish a story?

Friday, March 2, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-March 2, 2018

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  I am her co-host.

It's been a pretty good week for me.  On Saturday, we took our kids to Jurassic Quest since it was in Des Moines for the weekend.  The kids got to see life size animatronic dinosaurs, and there were rides and all kinds of activities.  By the end of the day, my husband and I were more worn out than the kids, but it was worth it.

Also this week, I found out that my flash fiction piece "Contemptible Cupid" was selected as the Write . . . Edit . . . Publish winner for the February challenge In Too Deep.  I'm so happy that people enjoyed my story.  I certainly had fun writing it.  I received a $10 Amazon gift card, which I promptly spent on the book Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly.  I saw the film last year, and I think it's a part of history everyone should know about.  These women dealt with so much prejudice, and they made tremendous contributions to our space program.  I can't wait to dive in and read it!

Lastly, I received some good news about a short story I submitted near the end of 2017.  I'm not going to go into detail just yet, but I did do a little happy dance when I got the email.  Zoe, who was eating lunch in her high chair at the time, giggled and started dancing along with me.  She must have thought I looked funny.

What would you like to celebrate?

Monday, February 26, 2018

Souper Blog Hop

Today Chrys Fey is hosting the Souper Blog Hop on behalf of her mom Elaine Kaye.  Elaine is releasing a children's book, and it looks souper fun!

To help celebrate, I'm going to share a soup recipe I love, and then I'll tell you a little more about the book.

The recipe is for cheesy chicken enchilada soup, and it tastes amazing.  I found the recipe here on the blog Center Cut Cook.  It is absolutely delicious and easy to make.  I will note, though, while the recipe uses a specific brand of shredded cheese, I used what I had on hand, and it all turned out just fine.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large purple onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 10 ounces red enchilada sauce
  • 1 - 14.5 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 - 4 ounce can diced green chiles
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 cup Horizon Organic Shredded Mexican Cheese, additional for garnish
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken (can use a rotisserie chicken)
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro, reserve some for garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 green onions, chopped, reserve some for garnish


  • Chopped green onion
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Diced red onion
  • Crushed Tortilla chips
  • Diced avocado
  • Horizon Organic Shredded Mexican or Cheddar Cheese
  • Plain Greek yogurt or sour scream


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large soup pot/dutch oven over medium high heat.
  2. Add in chopped purple onion and red bell peppers and cook until peppers are softened and onions translucent.
  3. Pour in 4 cups chicken broth, 2 teaspoons ground cumin and enchilada sauce. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to medium, add in diced tomatoes, black beans, green chiles, chopped green onion, chopped cilantro and shredded cooked chicken. Stir and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Reduce heat to low. Add in cubed cream cheese and Horizon Organic Shredded Mexican Cheese. Stir to combine and continue to stir while the cheese melts and incorporates.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Garnish with chopped green onions, additional Horizon Organic Shredded Mexican Cheese, etc.
Servings: 6-8

BLURB: Gregory Green loves his mom’s pea soup, but when he eats it at school, all of his friends make fun of how it looks. He doesn’t think it looks like bugs, and it tastes good! Then at recess, his friends run from him, screaming, “He’s a monster!” Gregory doesn’t know why his friends are being mean until he sees his skin is green. The teasing gets worse until an unlikely friend comes to the rescue—his teddy bear, Sammy. Sammy usually only comes to life for Gregory and his family, but Sammy has an important lesson to teach Gregory and his classmates.

Available in Print:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Elaine Kaye got the idea for Pea Soup Disaster from her son who loved to eat her homemade pea soup. Pea Soup Disaster is the first of many fun stories featuring Gregory Green and his teddy bear, Sammy, as part of the Gregory Green Adventure series.

Kaye has worked as a library assistant and teacher's assistant in elementary schools in the Sunshine State. She currently lives in Florida, but she has called Michigan; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Okinawa, Japan home. She is a grandmother of three boys.

Find Elaine:
Website / Instagram / Litsy - @ElaineKaye

Be sure to visit the other participants to see their favorite soups and recipes!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-February 23, 1028

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  I am her co-host.

I'm celebrating getting a new laptop!  My old one has its fair share of issues, including missing keys.  This new one has a touchscreen, which my kids absolutely love.  It also works wonderfully so far, and I'm pretty excited about that.

I also reached 70k in my novel this week.  It's crazy that I've made it that far considering my only time to get good writing done is after the kids go to bed.  I'm typing this post ahead of time, so Zoe is currently climbing all over me.  I could never write an entire novel like that.

The latest Write . . . Edit . . . Publish event happened earlier this week.  If you'd like to read some great pieces centered around the theme In Too Deep, then check them out!  You can find the list of entries here!

What would you like to celebrate?