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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Writing Prompt Wednesday: Strength

(We are combining our 'Talk About It' and 'Writing Prompts' today as I was unable to post yesterday.)


People's interpretation of 'strength' fascinates me. Most of us think of it in terms of the muscles or buffness you show or how much you can lift or how hard you can hit someone. But it is so much more than that.

Strength is mostly inside of us, which is something most of us don't realize. We need it to fight off health struggles we never asked for. We need it to fight against invisible disorders others often judge us for, but don't realize we are trying to deal with. We need it to bring up courage to face adversities we are faced with, without our permission. We need it to overcome the most severe times in our lives, and to keep moving us forward.

I chose this quote because Ghandi was an amazing human being who had to be one of the strongest people I have come to known. He gave his life to fight for what he truly believed in, and his body was small and weak but he wasn't.

He was strong. And he was right...struggles develop your strengths. Don't let those struggles drag you down. Use them to give you the motive to lift you up. Trust me when I say if I allowed my struggles to drag me down, I wouldn't still be here.

As he said, do not surrender.

Your writing prompt today is to reflect on a time when you were faced with issues that made you want to give say, 'no, I can't'...and how you overcame it.

We all have that inner strength.

We just need to learn how to tap into it, draw it out and draw from it to keep life moving.

Happy writing!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Music Mantra Monday: Josh Groban - You Raise Me Up

Okay, with everything going on lately, I thought we needed a little inspiration to keep us moving forward.

I know so many people who are in pain right now.,,suffering from illness, from money issues, from not feeling good enough to get through it all. But we all have that one person in our lives that gives us the courage and strength to move forward. You need that. It helps to surround yourself with people who you aspire to be, trust me, but at the same time there are precious few that are truly there when times are the roughest and when we need that extra boost...that push to keep moving.

I know.

This song aspires everything that I am trying to achieve right now. I have kids with physical, emotional and mental issues; I am dealing with 'stuff' too. I am sure there are many of you out there who are too. But you have to remember that as bad as things can be, as low as you can go and you can't find a way out, you always have someone who has those strong shoulders who can pull you through.

Just remember to always turn to them. Those strong shoulders are the ones that will always be there when you need them the most, even when you don't ask them to be, or even when you don't realize you need them. Don't turn them away.

Embrace them.
Hold on to them as tight as you need to.
Accept that, in your time of weakness, those shoulders are there for you.

It has taken me a very long time to accept help, love and assistance from others, and it came at a huge cost. Don't let that happen to you. Enjoy what comes to you when it comes to you.

Have a happy Monday and enjoy this song. Keep it in your heart.

I know I always have.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Foodie Fridays: Crispy Fried Tofu w/Peanut sauce (It's Better than it sounds)

Alright, I know that it's Sunday but we've missed our regular posts this weekend so I thought I'd share a vegetarian dish today, for our vegetarian followers.

I am what you'd call a 'disgruntled vegetarian/vegan' in that I don't mind meat but it doesn't like me very much. But it's very important to ensure to get all the appropriate intake of protein, iron and other vitamins that you may miss from not consuming meat.

If you find the right recipes, you'll be amazed to find out how you can create dishes that actually either taste like meat, or don't make you miss it as much. This was one of them for me.

I've had to alter this recipe slightly, simply because we are a nut-free home and there are peanuts included. I will include my alterations for fellow nut-free families out there, which are bolded.

Crispy Fried Tofu with Peanut Sauce

1 red onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 red chili pepper, in strips (I use chili flakes)
2 stalk of lemongrass, finely chopped
1/2 cup oil (I use veggie oil, but you can use one with a higher smoke point)
7 oz of firm tofu, cut into cubes (this would be one of those tofu bricks)
Juice of one lemon (lemon juice from the bottle works too)
2 green onions
1/2 tbsp ketjap manis (this is Indoneasian sweet soy sauce, but normal stuff works or bean sauce, depending on whether you want just a sweet flavour or sweet/salty)
2 tbsp palm or soft brown sugar
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped (peanut butter or peabutter, which I use, are options)

~ Place onion, garlic, chilli pepper and lemongrass in a food processor and grind to a puree, or pound the ingredients using a mortar and pestle.
~ Heat the oil in a wok (or another larger pan). Add the tofu, handfuls at a time if need be, and deep fry until golden brown. Allow to lay on a papertowel to allow excess oil to be removed. Sprinkle with salt. (Basically, you cook the tofu the way you would cook fresh cut french fries)
~ Once tofu is ready, fry half of the spice paste in another pan until the aromas are released. After a few minutes, stir in the lemon juice, and then the blocks of tofu.
~ Sprinkle the green onion, then your soy sauce. Allow to cool to room temperature.
~ Heat 1 tbsp of oil in your pan, then add the rest of the spice paste. Add your sugar and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil and stir in the peanuts (usually at this point I add in my peabutter instead of the peanuts). Heat gently until the sauce thickens.
~ Either add the tofu mixture with the peanut sauce as a dish on it's own, or mix the tofu in with the sauce and serve with rice or noodles.

DELISH, and enjoy!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Music Mantra Monday - A Little Help From Friends

For today's post, we are dedicating it to my new young friend, Brooklyn, and her family.

Hearing the word 'cancer' is a terrifying thing, especially when you are a kid. Many of you know that I have gone through it a couple of times and it doesn't matter how many times it comes back, the news is still difficult to absorb.

Today, my new friend, Brooklyn, is going through surgery on her leg to help rectify her cancer that, thankfully, hasn't spread anywhere else. It doesn't make what she has to go through today any easier, but at least this tough girl has a huge chance for recovery and, hopefully, that it will not have the chance to come back.

When you go through something like this...and other life need friends and family around to cushion the blow. I was always someone who pushed people away during times like this, however, I am learning as I have gotten older, the best way to get through times like this is to reach out.

And not be afraid to.

There is no shame in admitting you need help and/or support. There is no shame in reaching out to those closest to you for a hug, comfort or just to vent. There is no shame in asking for a break from the tremendous stress such life events may cause.

You all know what a huge Ringo fan I am. I'm not sure that Brooklyn is a fan of the Beatles, but I dedicate this song to her and her family as it says so much: We get by with a little help from our friends.

Be strong, be brave and there are many hugs, good healthy vibes and love surrounding you, Brooklyn.

Happy Monday.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Writing Prompt Wednesday ~ Never give up

Today's post is inspired by my daughter, Jordy.

Right now, we are going through a lot in our house. My kids have all started a new year in school, my husband is injured and unable to work...which means I have the whole caseload of bills and stuff...and I am going through a bunch of health issues (nothing to worry about too much, but still a concern). So my premise lately has been, 'never give up'.

Don't give up on anything just because you are thrown a curve ball. Don't give up because times get tough, and you aren't sure which direction to turn to. Don't give up because someone in your life is going through something them how to get through it all. Don't give up because someone tells you to or make you feel that you have to. Don't give up because you are given a health diagnosis that tells you that you should give up.

Don't. Give. Up.

As I've talked about a lot on the blog, I am a water person. I turn to earth elements in order to ground myself and for strength. Water, for me, is the strongest element I turn to. The sound...the motion...the feeling of it surrounding me whenever I surround myself with it. Actually, it has a lot to do with why water is a huge part of my YA series, DARK WATER

Take things as they come, deal with what you can WHEN you can and always turn toward the things/people in your life that inspire you to persevere.

Today write about what keeps you  moving forward and inspires you to keep moving towards what you need to do. Write, paint, run, ride your bike...whatever moves you.

Don't. Give. Up.

Happy writing!

Video trailer for BLACKBIRD FLIES!

Video Trailor for JUST SHUT UP and DRIVE