Thursday, May 3, 2012

May (all your dreams come true...)

C.S. Lewis quote for the day:

"Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement."

The mid-way point of the year is fast approaching... Only 59 days and 2012 will be halfway past...

What Leap Year resolutions did you make? What new ones are whispering in your head?

Listen to those whispering dreams...! Make the move now.

For me, May means "boot camp" month. Get my butt in gear and finish my manuscript draft. Make healthy habits of exercise and prayer. I want to work hard. And play hard. I want to be a good steward of every muscle, brain cell, and blessing.

I'm three days into May and those days haven't been perfect... But that's okay, because perfection is not my goal. Improvement, yes, perfection, no. (Thanks Mama Char [grandma] for that eternal life lesson!)

So make the most with what you've got! Life is preciously short. If you aren't satisfied with your life, then quit spinning your wheels and clinging to the same old habits...

Be who you were made to be!!!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Lessons from a Prophet

I read Habakkuk this morning. Partially because I like the sound of "Habakkuk" and partially because it caught my eye as I was flipping through my slightly dusty NIV this morning...

And I rediscovered two lessons that struck a particular chord with me...

Now I remembered reading Habakkuk before and so this morning I thought to myself "Hmm.. This will be good.."  My eyes were bleary and the clock read 6:30am, but I willfully plopped myself into my not-comfy-enough kitchen chair, gratefully munched on Mini Chocolate-Chip Breakfast Cookies, and began to read.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

You Know You've Been Away for Too Long When...

...You don't even recognize blogger's format any more and the whole thing's more confusing than Facebook's last update.... Arg!

My little sister said I should update my blog. So, this one's for you Linden!

Since my last post forever and a half ago, I've been...

  • ...working a lot on my manuscript. My new goal is to have a rough draft completed by the end of May. I had to do lots of work on the outline and fleshing out scenes BEFORE actually writing them.... In college I was the girl who outlined term papers for days and then wrote the the whole 20 page whopper in a night. And it worked for me. I'm realizing that's how I work best when writing. Working from the "outside" to the "inside". I'm excited too, because I've really been able to envision my story lately... A steampunk world and a cyberpunk world... With superheros, airships, monsters, and mystery! (If you're curious to "see" what my story looks like / feels like, check out my Pinterest board for Laraway Legacy...)
  • ...trying to read Game of Thrones... I love it. But it's taking me forever to get into it.
  • ...indulging a growing addiction to Kettlebell training at Synergy. What's that you say? A couple months ago I had NO idea... Now I know. And I'm totally addicted... It's amazing strength-training workouts that aren't boring (and that's saying a lot, coming from this lazy ex-ballerina) Plus, it burns up to 600 calories in 30 minutes. Here's a video of my trainer doing one of MANY Kettlebell exercises...

  • ...exploring veganism. I think I have a dairy allergy. I'm getting tested for allergies tomorrow morning actually. I used to think I could never ever EVER give up cheese. I mean, there's nothing quite like a glass of red wine and brie cheese...!!! But now, I'm thinking that feeling well might actually be better... And I'm discovering a plethora of amazing vegan recipe sites! If you've never checked out Chocolate Covered Katie , then I highly recommend! Her recipes are SO simple and ohso tasty! I can personally attest that her Deep Dish Cookie Pie, made with garbanzo beans is UHmazing... As are her Chocolate Pumpkin Pie Brownies (I've just been eating them with a fork from the baking dish... I couldn't stop long enough to cut them...)
That's all for this post... I'll be back again soon. :)

Until then, check out this GORGEOUS photo. I want to go to there...! :)

Photo Credit

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

5 Health Tips for 2012

Yesterday, my place of employment kicked off a new wellness initiative for the 2012. Basically, there's a new emphasis being placed on health and fitness and all staff are being encouraged to sign up for a "Biggest Loser" type competition! We had a guest speaker talk about some basic health and nutrition tips and learned about the prizes that can be had if you win the competition. I'm really glad that they emphasized that skinny does not equal healthy. There are a lot of ways to harm your body and starving it is just as bad as overfeeding it.

Anyways! Yesterday's presentation at work got me thinking about some of my favorite health tips. My husband has lost about 20 lbs since I first met him (about 3 years ago), and I've recently lost 5 lbs within the last two and a half weeks (goodbye holiday weight gain!!)

I'm by no means an expert on health and fitness. But I have learned some valuable tips and tricks along the way! So, here some of my favorite health tips - both old and new:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

55 Reasons Why Snow is Great

 FINALLY!!! SNOW! Seriously, for the past couple weeks I've been humming "This is Halloween" in my head and thinking about Cadbury Creme Eggs... This weather has been more confusing than the Birmingham Spaghetti Junction. But I refuse to apologize to all the snow-haters out there. You got your extra weeks of Sprall (Spring + Fall???). Now it's my turn! Our turn! Snow-lovers of the world unite!!!

And without further ado, 55 reasons to love snow:
  1. It's beautiful. Breathtaking. Serene. Entrancing.
  2. It's cold. This is great because you can always put on more clothes to keep warm. Summer heat? Eh, you can only take off so many clothes in public. Just sayin'.
  3. God made it. On purpose.
  4. God makes each and every snowflake unique. WHAT?! Did you hear that? This is like, cooler than rainbows!!! (Okay, some disagree that ALL snowflakes are unique.. But still... Look at some up close.. they are different!)
  5. Snow forces people to stay home and get in touch with their inner introvert.
  6. Snowshoeing.
  7. Snow-man making.
  8. Snow Angels.
  9. Downhill skiing.
  10. Ski jumping.
  11. Cross-country skiing.
  12. Skibobbing.
  13. Snowboarding.
  14. Jamaican bobsled teams.
  15. Figure skating.
  16. Speed skating.
  17. Snowmobiling.
  18. Snow rugby.
  19. Snow makes even the most ugly and dirty cities look lovely.
  20. Watching puppies play in snow is an instant mood booster.
  21. Watching toddlers waddle in snowsuits warms the heart.
  22. Sitting in a hot tub, jumping out, rolling in the snow, and jumping back in the hot tub is a truly invigorating experience!
  23.  Killing lions on snowy days is pretty BA. "Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant fighter from Kabzeel, performed great exploits. He struck down Moab’s two mightiest warriors. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion." (2 Samuel 23:20)
  24. Jesus makes us white as... SNOW. So, snow must be pretty pure and awesome and such. "Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow." (51:7)
  25. Ever been to a snowy winter wedding? Yeah. Uhuh. Amazing.
  26. Photo shoots in the snow are magical.
  27. Movies like "White Christmas" would be pointless without snow.
  28. Half a dozen epic scenes in the LOTR films wouldn't be so dang cool without snow.
  29. The Shining wouldn't have happened had there not been a snowstorm!
  30. Snow Dogs! Even though we all thought Cuba Gooding, Jr. could have done better...
  31. Ice Age.
  32. The Day After Tomorrow. Emmy Rossum and Jake Gyllenhaal are so cute together.
  33. The Empire Strikes Back! Sure, Luke's Tauntaun carcas sleeping bag was gross, but it was pretty innovative of him. (Edit: My husband just reminded me that it was Han Solo's idea, not Luke's. Either way though, it's innovative!)
  34. Speaking of innovation, snow forces everyone to be innovative. Like tonight I'm making hodge-podge chilli since I can't drive on the snowy roads!
  35. We wouldn't have that lovely song "Let it Snow".
  36. We wouldn't have that slightly creepy song "Baby, It's Cold Outside". But come on, it was originally written by a husband who liked to sing it with his wife at parties! So cute.
  37. Shoveling. A 150 lb person can burn almost 400 calories per hour!
  38. Romance. Go grab your honey and kiss them in the falling snow. Guaranteed magical moment.
  39. Homemade snow ice cream.
  40. A big bowl of snow with maple syrup on it.
  41. Snowball fights.
  42. Throwing snowballs for your dog to catch and then cackling when they can't find them.
  43. Snowforts.
  44. Snow sculptures (see photo at bottom!)
  45. Painting in the snow with colored water.
  46. Doughnuts in parking lots.
  47. The ability to write your name in snow.
  48. Snow's dangerousness. It's cool to witness the majestic power of nature, up close!
  49. Snowdays.
  50. Freshly fallen snow is 90-95 percent air. This means it's a good thermal insulator. Which is awesome and super good for plants during the winter chill. 
  51. It also provides moisture to plants during winter.
  52. Guinness says that the largest snowflake ever recorded was 15 inches wide!
  53. Snow purifies the air.
  54. Snow reduces tick populations.
  55.  It makes people who love snow (like me) insanely happy. This means you'll have a much more pleasant day if you encounter me!
 So there! Love snow for goodness sake!!! It will love you back!!! :)

Why do you love snow? Comment and share! And if you hate snow, then check out my dear friend Jessica's rebuttal to my 55 reasons! :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New Year, One Goal

Hellllloooo 2012!

In the past I've had multiple goals every year. But this year I only have one - to finish my manuscript. Sure, I wanna lose that extra holiday cheer that's attached itself to my waistline and thighs. And I want to relearn chess, pay off debt, and get my husband to like Indian food. But all that falls by the wayside when it comes to accomplishing this year's singular resolution.

So how am I doing so far? Well, to start with, I'm terrified. I'm nearly petrified with fear of failure. But I started the actual writing process and though I really need to boost my daily page count, I've got a teensy little bit written!!!

Here's what I'm working on this week:
  • Getting into a habit of regular page count (check out Rachel Aaron's post on upping your word count if you're looking to do the same!)
  • Do a little more prep work to clearly define my villian/hero relationship. I've realized that I really need to create characters that are equal to one another. I need the Voldemort to my Harry. The Professor Moriarty to my Sherlock. The Joker to my Batman! One of the things I've learned about the fantasy/action genre is that every hero needs an ultimate nemesis. One that is perfectly suited to create a unique foil to the protagonist.
  • Figure out how the heck I'm gonna open my story! Actually, I may or may not accomplish this goal this week. But I really need to keep working at it. How am I going to open this monstrous adventure story?!?!? What in the world is Nicholas DOING when he is introduced?!
So that's what I'm working on for now! Here we go 2012 resolution!!

Oh, and as I'm writing, I'm getting to do even more research on so many fantastic steampunk/fantasy items...

How cool is this pocket-watch?!?! I want me one of these!!
Steampunk Pocket Watch 2 by *purpleglovez on deviantART

And Michael Kingery's steampunk walking ship just tickles my brain with inspiration for the side of Myrla'tor that is eternally dark and frozen!

Here's where I found it...

Ahhh, the possibilities!!! :)