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Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

Can you host/hostess well?

August is our last month of full summer and then we begin the slow transition into the fall and winter. From the first weekend in September when we celebrate Labor Day to the last week of December when we welcome in the New Year we are on a roller coaster of holidays and celebrations. Outside of summer it is often the busiest time of year for people to host parties and get-togethers. It’s a time to celebrate and create great memories that will last a lifetime. So, what happens if you do not feel comfortable hosting a party but you want to? Well, we have a few tips for you on how to be the “Hostess with the Mostess”. There are a few simple things to think about when planning a party that will make things go smoother and easier for you.
Step One: Give yourself plenty of time to organize the event. We often underestimate the amount of work it takes to throw a “simple” party together. Not giving yourself enough time puts stress on you right from the start that is not needed. Give yourself more time that you think you need. Seriously!

Step Two: We like to think we are Superman/woman but the truth is we can only do so much and a big mistake in party planning that people make is not asking for help. We often have a bigger support network than we think we do and people really don’t mind being asked to assist. Especially when they get to participate in the fun afterwards.

Step Three: Food can make or break a party. You can do everything else right but if the food is bad or mediocre it’s all your guests will talk about so keep your food choices simple. Parties are not the time to try out new recipes. Stick with favorites that are tried and true and easy to make. Better yet, find recipes that you can make ahead so you have less to do the day of the event.

Step Four: Set the tone for your party before your guests arrive. Turn on music that creates the environment that you want. Light those scented candles that invoke smells you want to linger in your guest’s mind. Post a little sign by the door if you want guests to take off their shoes. Open the patio door if you want guests to head out to your backyard. All these little things will set the tone and you will relax knowing that the feel for your party is set and ready to roll.

Step Five: Once the party starts – relax and enjoy your own party. People do not expect you to be perfect and in fact, relax more if they feel like you are just like everyone else. Watch the flow of the party and the guests. Keep conversation going, make sure people’s glasses are full and that they have eaten enough but don’t forget that the whole point of having people over is to enjoy their company. To have good conversations and make memories. You don’t want to be so busy “hosting” that you don’t even enjoy your own get-together.

Step Six: Say Thank You! It only takes a minute in our day of technology to drop a quick thank you for attending. Choose your most convenient way of contacting people but be sure to say thank you. Especially to the friends that helped you out or stayed late to help you clean up. Everyone likes a little recognition.

With a little bit of pre-planning and learning how to keep it simple you can have a great party. You may even decide that you are quite good at hosting parties. Before you know it, you might be “THE” hostess of all your friends.

Netflix Chillin

So, this is a pretty rare occurrence but my husband and I had no plans and a free Saturday night. To top it off he kids took the car so we were stuck at home. We decided it was A Netflix and chill night. 

We got in our PJ’s, curled up on the couch and the movie selection began. We decided to rotate who got to pick what we watched. That way we could balance it out and both be happy with what we watched. 

All of the movies we watched were radically different but then again we like to explore our options and keep an open mind about things. I can count on my hand the number of times we have decided we “just couldn’t finish” a movie. 

Here are the movies we watched:

  • Precious Cargo: To get back in the good graces of her murderous boss (Bruce Willis), a seductive thief (Claire Forlani) recruits an ex-lover (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) to steal rare and valuable gems.
  • Shadow of Iris: Iris, young wife of a businessman, disappears in Paris. Maybe a mechanic with many debts is involved in the strange affair. A really complicated job for the police.
  • An Unfinished Life: Einar (Robert Redford), a recovering alcoholic rancher who lives with his loyal pal Mitch (Morgan Freeman), gets an unexpected visit from his daughter-in-law, Jean (Jennifer Lopez), and granddaughter, Griff (Becca Gardner). Einar holds a grudge against Jean because he feels she’s responsible for his son’s accidental death, but he reluctantly lets her stay at the farm when he learns that she’s trapped in a violent relationship. Over time, they grow closer and try to heal their emotional wounds.
  • Iceman: An imperial guard and his three traitorous friends become buried and frozen in time. When they wake up 400 years later, they continue the battle they started centuries before.

We like to discuss movies after the fact, you know, What would you do if?, Can you imagine?, I would have done…, I didn’t like that character because… and so on. Sometimes we just talk about the plot twists and what surprises us or was a given. We have a lot of fun and the hours of alone time, cuddling on the couch isn’t that bad either. 

I highly recommend, even when you live a hectic lifestyle, to make time for a Netflix and chillin night. It was relaxing and it gave us a chance to reconnect. So, get our computer, tablets, smartphones, smart televisions or whatever and get a queue going. 

*movie recommendations are always welcome. 

Say it shortly

I was challenged to tell my life story in 5 sentences. Easy? Um….not. Actually once I sat down to write it I realized that a lot has happened in my life. After all, how does one take 5 short sentences and explain the last 47 years.

I’ve seen this type of poetry done before and I have seen many people successfully tell stories through this method but I have never tried it before. There are some great 5 sentence stories on WordPress if you look for them and there are even scary 5 sentence stories too.

So here is my life in 5 simple sentences:

An idyllic childhood raised by loving and strong parents allowed her to take joy in her own children’s lives as they grew to strong young men. Her husband of twenty-seven years saw her through untold joys and sorrows as life whirred by like a roller coaster. Mid-life brought new challenges, taking care of parents, entrepreneurship, and the desire to create newness in her life where once children filled her world. Now, today, she embraces the unknown and looks forward to adventures yet to be taken, knowledge yet to be learned and life still to be lived.

Now….. your turn.

Life Swap

You know those shows on television where the wives swap and go live with another family? Where they get to spend time in someone else’s life? Well, what if you could swap places with an fictional character?  Who, oh who, would you be?

I would be Elleysetta Baristani. She is the main female character in the Tairen Soul Series written by C.L. Wilson. Ellysetta believes she is a plain woodcarvers daughter but through fate she discovers she has magical abilities which belong to the Fae. Not only that she is the destined mate of the King of the Fae and the Tairen.

As she learns to love him and accept she has magical powers she begins to blossom and he plain woodcarvers daughter begins to be replaced by the powerful Queen of the Fae. She has abilities but only uses them in defense of those she loves. This is a series about love beyond measure, self acceptance and the beauty of magic all balanced by to costs of such gifts.

I would love a soul connection kind of love where you literally are two halves of a whole. I think I’ve found my forever love and as we have been married 26 years I think we are doing pretty good. I would also love to be able to control the elements . I think I am drawn to the raw power of nature and to be able to manipulate it or control it to do magical things would be totally amazing. Last but not least I’m a huge fan of the Fae and shape shifters so being connected to both would be so amazing. Can you imagine being part of the Fae or legend? Can you imagine being able to change form into something else?

Anyway….this is my dream….my fictional character I would be. Who would you be and why? Curious minds want to know.


Tender is the Night

Today’s blog topic is what are some of my favorite song lyrics. I’m a total romantic and I the words to this song are posted where I can review them regularly when I am writing on my romance novels. I love to listen to Paul Byrom sing this song in his melodic voice especially when he is accompanied by Deirdre Shannon. It’s not exactly well known but I love it anyway. Enjoy!

Enjoy! It’s not exactly well known but I love it anyway.



You Haven’t Seen It?!

My family is a big movie family. We watch a lot of movies and we re-watch a lot of movies too. It isn’t uncommon to hear one of us say, “Ooh, I love this movie” or to hear one of us say, “You haven’t seen ______, well you must!”. As a matter of fact one of the boys living in my house right now (a son’s friend) hasn’t seen a lot of movies so they started a list of movies he must see to broaden his movie education so-to-speak.

My husband watches a series of movies every December, like clockwork and there are a couple movies that whenever they are available through Netflix we watch them but I have a couple of personal favorites. My topic today is “What is the movie that I tell my friends to see?” Well, that depends. These are my top, go back to and watch again and again movies:

Pride and Prejudice for the romantic in me.

Tombstone because I simply love the characters and their quotes.

The Mirror has Two Faces because it reminds me about self-empowerment al tied up in romance.

What Dreams May Come because it speaks to me on so many levels about spiritual connection and self truth.

The Fifth Element because I love the overarching concept that love conquers all but I love the characters and its a great sci-fi romantic comedy.

I am always looking for new movies so any recommendations on movies I should watch are more than welcome!

They are real to me

I’m a reader. I love books. I love losing myself in some fictional location, with fictional characters. Yes…before you ask….I love some of those characters too. Today’s topic is my three favorite book characters. As I read a lot I thought this was going to be much more difficult. Instead, I found that they came to mind easily.

  1. Elizabeth Bennet (Pride & Prejudice) – She is spirited and smart. She is proud but very discerning in understanding the people around her and for the most part a good judge of character. She is loved by her family and she deeply loves them back. She defends those she loves ardently and she is rather adventurous.
  2. Ellysetta Baristani & Rain Tairen Soul (Lord of the Fading Lands) – Technically they are two very distinct characters but once you read the Lord of the Fading Lands fantasy series you realize that indeed their is no Ellysetta without Rain and no Rain without Ellysetta. I love everything about these characters. I love their faults and their insecurities and I love that they are indeed better people when they are together. I reread this series every year.
  3. Gregori (Dark Magic) – I love the dark character of Gregori. He is a healer and gives his all to his people. He never thinks about the sacrifices he makes. He only asks for one thing, Savannah, his soul mate. There is just something about his dark mysterious personality that I love. I’ve read every single one of the books in the Dark Series and I often reread them.

So, tell me, what characters have you read about and have quickly become a favorite of yours?

I wonder as I wander

Travel…’s not nearly as big of a part of my life as I would like it to be. There is something about seeing new places, experiencing new cultures that calls to me. I think perhaps it is the adventurer, the pioneer nature of the Aries.

My question for the day is what one trip I would like to take this year. I would love to say some grand adventure like the two week trip to Ireland that I have all planned out but in truth I think it will be more like a few road trips. That is okay with me. I LOVE road trips. I would like to go on another road trip with my friend this year – we are already talking about it but even more so, I want to go on a road trip with my husband.

I would love to just get in the car and take off. No destination in mind. Just the open road and freedom to explore. Of course as our schedules aren’t exactly matching it will be a feat in and of itself just to get the time to do something like this but it will be worth the effort. Travel inspires me and energizes me as does time alone with my husband.

So I don’t mind getting bit by the travel bug and I am hoping that by the end of the year I will be able to say that I have accomplished this goal.

Can’t wait, can’t wait, can’t wait!

So…..I have always had a thing for unique and random days of celebration. Partly because I think you should find something to celebrate every day and partly because it amazes me just how many weird and random things you can choose to celebrate.

My thought provoking question of the day is “what is one thing you are looking forward to?” I bet you can’t guess! Yep-I’m looking forward to celebrating the unique and random days as they come up throughout the year. Some of them have me giddy with excitement over how I want to participate and acknowledge the day.

There are some more traditional days like Parents Day but there are some other ones,  like today which was National Spaghetti Day. There are so many that it’s easy to choose a handful for every month to celebrate.

I went online, looked up unique and random holidays and had a heyday going through them. It was worth my time just for the entertainment of seeing what all the options are. Go ahead….try it. You may find that it adds some extra fun to your year.

Hi ho…Hi ho…to the library I go

871147_989689881 I love libraries. There is something very appealing about walking into the library and seeing rows and rows of books. I love the quietness disrupted by the sounds of movement or pages turning. I love to see rows of book spines facing me like siren calls to adventure. I love seeing a book I have read in someone else’s hands and secretly knowing the journey they are about to undertake when they open the pages. I love looking at the book covers and wondering about the artist that created them.

Really, there isn’t much I don’t love about the library. I always enjoy it when I go but I just don’t go often enough. I’m not sure why I don’t go more often. It makes sense to borrow books from the library rather than go out and spend money to purchase the book. (Not that I don’t like supporting authors by purchasing books) As I was looking around my local library I realized I would probably really enjoy working a day or two a month at the library. (Have laptop, can travel) The atmosphere is calming and sometimes that is exactly what I need to productive.

I actually know people who have never been to the public library. That’s just sacrilegious in my book. So here is my plug for supporting your local library. Next time you get an hour of free time, head to the library and see what kind of adventures await you in the myriad of books sitting on the shelves waiting to be taken home and enjoyed. You’ll be glad you took the time…I promise!

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