HUGE THANKS to everyone who joined in the celebration of the countdown and supported me in all 3 books this year! It’s been a whirlwind, but I wouldn’t have had the fun or success without the love and support of my friends and family. From hanging out at the Perfectly Honest launch party, liking and sharing stuff on Facebook and twitter, writing guest posts for me on my website, visiting my website, buying, reading and reviewing my books . . . the list goes on. I can’t express my thanks enough to each of you – you’ve given me your time and made me laugh. I’m very, very grateful for all of it.
So put your feet up, crack open Perfectly Planned and take a break on me (tell anyone who bugs you it was doctor’s orders)!!
Most importantly – Laugh every day. Love every minute.
For all my loyal blog followers, here’s a sneak peek at Chapters 1 and 2. I hope you enjoy it!! Click HERE.
It’s Day 2 of the Perfectly Planned Countdown!!
And a drum roll please……
Here’s the Perfectly Planned book trailer video!
Come back tomorrow for a sneak peek at the first two chapters of Perfectly Planned 😀
Today is the last day of the Perfectly Honest sale for 0.99 on amazon.com! If you need to catch up, here’s your chance to save! And here are the winners of the Rafflecopter draw – Congratulations! I’ll be in touch.
e-copy of one of the Perfectly Series:
Sandy H., Susan B., Danielle F., Ryan S., Beverly R., Mary P.
$25 Gift Card: Karen M.
Christmas Cards by Karen: Lesley R., Shirley B.
Earrings: Laurie A.
It’s Day 3 of the Perfectly Planned Countdown! Here are 3 fun facts about writing the story.
When I thought about writing the third book in the Perfectly Series, I wanted to have a main female character who was different from Mikaela and Margo. They were both a little more serious in their roles as physicians. I wanted Chloe to have a different voice, so she needed a different personality. She was really fun to write – she’s a little bit crazy but has a heart of gold. As I wrote the story, I found myself asking, “Now how would Chloe say that?”
Chloe has a tendency to operate just on the other side of the law so I thought it would be fun to pair her up with Rip – a Staff Sergeant with the police force. I didn’t know a lot about the life of a police officer so that took a bit of research. Actually it made me appreciate how easy it was for me to write about doctors – knowing the lingo, the habits, how they approach problems. Luckily, I have a connection with a newly retired police officer and he was very patient about answering my questions. Because not only did I quiz him on how the team worked, but all the other stuff that makes a character believable – like nicknames, clothing and equipment, what does the office look like, do they hang out with each other outside of work – it’s the small details that make the character real.
In the story, Chloe borrows a blue Mazda Miata convertible (and loves driving it). Around the time I was working on the final round of edits on the story in late October, I came out of the grocery store and you’ll never guess what was parked beside my car. Yes, a blue Mazda Miata convertible!! I couldn’t believe it – I don’t think I’d ever seen one. I’m sure the other people in the parking lot were wondering why I was grinning and snapping pictures. 😀
I’m very excited to share Perfectly Planned with you! Only 2 more days. If you’d like to pre-order it, click HERE. Tomorrow, I’ll share the You’two’be video trailer and announce the lucky winners of the Rafflecopter draw.
Only one day left to save on Perfectly Honest – $0.99 (on amazon.com – sorry about that .ca people) until Nov.22. See you tomorrow!
Hi folks! Rip here. I’m a Staff Sergeant with the OPP and although home security isn’t what I do day-to-day, it’s something we all need to be aware of. I thought I’d drop by and pass along 4 tips to keep your home safe when you’re away on your perfectly planned holiday.
Ask a neighbour to collect your mail and remove any newspapers. Keep in mind some insurance companies won’t cover your home if it’s been empty for more than 72 hours. So give someone a key and have them do a walk-through. Can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard of a dishwasher, water heater, or pipe leaking the minute the homeowner leaves on a 7-day vacation.
Put lights on timers and switch it up if you can. In the winter have someone make tracks in the driveway and arrange to have the sidewalk shovelled. And don’t advertise you’re away on social media. Wait and share your photos when you get home.
Secure your home – lock all the doors and windows. Surprising how many people leave a window open a crack. That’s all they need.
Don’t leave your car keys hanging or sitting out where they’re visible through a window. They’ll take your valuables and your car. Speaking of keys, if you’re going to hide a spare, don’t leave it under the front door mat or in a flowerpot – that’s the first place they’ll look.
Keep your home safe and enjoy your vacation!
Thanks Rip, good advice! Speaking of hiding spots – We hid a spare house key in a little magnetic box and attached it to the underside of our barbeque. Which sounds like a great hiding place, except we bought a new barbeque and put the old one at the end of the driveway with a ‘free’ sign on it. Someone came along in a pick-up truck and carted it away. Only then did I remember that the house key was still attached to the barbeque. $100 to get all the locks changed – it was an expensive new barbeque!
There you have it – safety first! This is the last day to enter the Rafflecopter draw. Tomorrow I’ll announce the winners and share some behind-the-scenes stories of writing Perfectly Planned. It’s getting close to the release day!
And if you haven’t read Perfectly Honest – now’s the time to catch up. It’s on sale for $0.99 (only on amazon.com – sorry about that .ca people) but only until Nov.22. See you tomorrow!
Day 5 of the Countdown to the release of Perfectly Planned – woohoo!
When Chloe is parenting small-fry, she makes sure they get all the vegetables they need. But hey, it’s not just kids who have trouble getting the full serving of fruit and vegetables each day. Here are 5 tricks for adding a little extra to everyday meals.
Add mashed carrots to Kraft Dinner.
Add steamed cauliflower to mashed potatoes.
Use cooked mashed potatoes or lentils to thicken soups.
Add pureed vegetables to spaghetti sauce. (I always add chopped carrots)
Add a little extra
Mix in shredded zucchini and apple to turkey burgers (keeps them moist).
Toss in a few raisins to beef burgers (little extra iron).
Add yogurt and white beans to tuna or chicken salad sandwiches (calcium and fibre).
Avocado Chocolate Pudding
¼ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup honey
1 mashed avocado
Mix all the ingredients together and chill. Delish but very sweet!
Makes: 14 cookies
2 ¼ cups oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup nut butter (I used half peanut and half almond butter)
¼ cup real maple syrup or honey
2 large bananas, mashed
1 small or ½ large zucchini, finely shredded
¼ cup pecans, chopped
1/3 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Combine oats, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
Combine nut butter, maple syrup/honey, bananas, and zucchini in another bowl.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Add pecans and chocolate chips and mix just until combined.
Scoop dough (about 2 tablespoons each) onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet or Silpat mat. Press to flatten, since they won’t spread during baking.
Bake for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, they can be frozen.
See more at http://thrivinghomeblog.com
There you go – getting your daily fruit and vegetable serving made easy! Join me tomorrow for Rip’s top 4 safety tricks and a funny story. Enter the Rafflecopter each day to increase your chances of winning – only 1 day left to join in! And if you haven’t read Perfectly Honest – now’s the time to catch up. It’s on sale for $0.99 (only on amazon.com – sorry about that .ca people). See you tomorrow!
It’s Day 6 of the Countdown to the release of Perfectly Planned! Chloe doesn’t leave home without wearing SPF 50 sunscreen. Thought I’d bust 6 myths about sun protection.
Fact: A base tan is no substitute for sunscreen. Everybody, regardless of race or skin type, is at risk. Even people who tan easily should use sunscreen.
Myth #2: Sunscreen with SPF-30 provides twice as much protection as SPF-15.
Fact: No. Sunscreen with SPF-15 protects against 93% of UVB rays, SPF-30 97%, and SPF-50 protects against 98% of UVB rays. Most experts believe SPF-30 is enough, provided you use it properly. Keep in mind – SPF ratings only apply to UVB (burning rays) protection. Look for sunscreens labeled Broad-Spectrum for UVA (aging rays) protection.
Myth #3: The amount of sunscreen you use doesn’t matter, as long as you use it.
Fact: Most people don’t use enough or don’t re-apply every 2 hours as recommended. At least one ounce or 2 tablespoons (the equivalent of a shot glass) is needed for most adults. Apply it 15-20 minutes before going outside to allow it time to absorb into the skin. Waterproof sunscreens lose some of their effectiveness after 40 minutes in the water.
Also, 80% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays can pass through clouds. UV rays can be reflected off sand, water, and snow and can penetrate car windows as well. I’ve seen skin cancers on a truck driver’s left arm and hand.
Fact: Using sunscreen does not block the body’s ability to make vitamin D. In fact, the amount of sun exposure you need for your daily vitamin D is minimal. Most people get enough by doing everyday outdoor activities. In the winter, you can boost your vitamin D by eating foods such as fish, milk, and eggs.
Myth #5: Using sunscreen will prevent skin cancer completely.
Fact: Wearing sunscreen everyday reduces the risk of developing skin cancer. However, many people still get sunburned while using sunscreen because they don’t use it properly. You can also:
- Stay out of the sun between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
- Wear sun protection rated clothing (long sleeved shirts and pants) and hats. Use an umbrella at the beach.
- Wear sunglasses that protect from both UVA and UVB rays.
Myth #6: Tanning beds are safer than getting a natural tan.
Fact: NO. It’s the opposite. Tanning beds increase your risk of skin cancer ten-fold. Completely avoid tanning beds!
“It doesn’t matter what form of sun protection you choose, make sure you put something between your skin and the sun.” Chloe’s thinking of using Rip 🙂
There you have it – so get outside and enjoy the day – but wear your SPF-30! Join me tomorrow for 5 tricks for adding extra nutrition to everyday meals. Enter the Rafflecopter each day to increase your chances of winning – only 2 days left to join in! And if you haven’t read Perfectly Honest – now’s the time to catch up. It’s on sale for $0.99 (only on amazon.com – sorry about that .ca people). See you tomorrow!
Perfectly Planned is available for pre-order now! Click HERE
It’s Day 7 of the Countdown to the release of Perfectly Planned! November 24th is the BIG day!
Writing Perfectly Planned was a lot of fun! Chloe has an ear for voices, but not so much for song lyrics or sayings. In the midst of writing, I researched a few famous sayings. Here are 7 of my favourites:
Gotta go through it. Can’t go around it. B Lawrie
Be strong I whisper to my WIFI signal.
Legs for holding me up. Arms to support me. Fingers to count on.
I should have a theme song played whenever I do something awesome.
The amount of sleep required by the average person is 5 minutes more. W. Mizner
It ain’t no use putting up your umbrella till it rains. Alice Caldwell Rice
If you don’t like where you are, then change it. You are not a tree. E Gilbert
There’s a smile for you today! Remember Perfectly Planned is on preorder – get it delivered as soon as it’s released on Nov. 24th. Click HERE.
Enter the Rafflecopter each day – don’t be shy! It’s easy – and your info is shared only with me. You could win free e-copies of the Perfectly Series, a $25 Amazon Gift Card or Christmas Cards by Karen! It’s free to enter 😀 See you back here tomorrow – we’ll bust 6 myths about sun protection!
It’s Day 8 of the Perfectly Planned Countdown!
Helloooo everyone, Chloe here! Did you know that your supposed to be starting your retirement plan by age 30? Yup, that’s what I hear! Those financial gurus are pretty emphatic about it. Just in case you don’t have time to keep up with the big bean counters at Money Market News, I thought I’d share 8 pieces of financial advice! (But really don’t take my word for it, ask your accountant 😀
Pay off your credit card bill every month – the interest is a killer (goes for pretty much any bill and your taxes too!) If you’re carrying a balance on your credit card or only paying the minimum, cut the card up so you can’t use it until you pay it off.
Life expectancy in Canada is 83.6 years for women and 79.3 years for men. Since most Canadians retire in their 60s, you can anticipate 15-20 years of retirement living.
Cutting the amount of tax you pay on your investments can help them grow and compound more rapidly.
Put away 10-30% of every paycheque into savings. Helps for rainy days and retirement.
Don’t borrow to invest. If things go south, you lose twice over.
“A bull market is a great time to lose money.” Be conservative when the market is active and aggressive when the market is down. Volatile markets lead to cautious investors with almost half looking to safer investments. I have no idea what this means, but it sounded important 😀
And here’s a bonus piece of advice: Buy things on sale! AND isn’t that lucky? I just found out that Perfectly Honest will be on sale on amazon.com for 99 cents starting today for one week!! Woohoo! Perfectly timed if I do say so myself 😀
There you have it – financial advice to help your pennies grow. Thanks for stopping by! Drop by tomorrow – I’ll be sharing seven of my favourite sayings 😀 Only 5 days left to enter the Rafflecopter draw for some fabulous prizes. There are some Christmas Cards by Karen and they are very cute – get a head start on sending out your Christmas cheer!