Lazy Days and… I’m SO excited!

The writing prompt today is: How do you like to spend lazy days?

That’s kind of a loaded question for me and all I can say is … it depends on the day. Some days, I love spending with family and friends. Other days, I want to just read, lose myself in a good movie or two, or binge watch a favorite series on Netflix. Of course, I might want to catch up on sleep instead. Or take a long, leisurely drive. 

What about you? How do you like to spend lazy days? Let me know in the comments below.

Now… What, exactly, am I so excited about?

If you read my last post, you’ll know that I’ve fallen in love with the new keto craze – chaffles. The problem is, I’m doing Trim Healthy Mama (affiliate link – click here to learn more). It is a lower carb diet, and depending on the type of meal I’m eating, I can enjoy plenty of butter or cheese. But I was afraid as much as I was getting into chaffles, I’d be getting way too much fat, and I don’t want to risk that.

Then I remembered a video I saw by Lindsey Murphy…

And then I made another batch of Nili’s Baking Blend (an almost clone of the Trim Healthy Mama baking blend – another affiliate link.)…

And it worked. The THM-i-fied Diet Doctor rolls produce a fabulous low fat/low carb chaffle substitute!

How did they turn out? 

Wonderful! 

They turned out wonderful! So wonderful, in fact, you can tell I was eating one while the other one and a half cooked in my cute little Dash waffle maker. The flavor and texture are surprisingly perfect. They’re soft, like fresh bread, though if you wanted them crispier, you could just cook them longer. 

I still have to play around with the exact amount to use for each waffle/chaffle/bread/bun substitute. Each one takes about four minutes to cook. When I used too much dough, I had to hold the lid down with a folded towel so figuring out the exact amount to use is a priority.

I’ll be making a full batch of these tonight and storing them in the fridge. I can have guilt free sandwiches now. I experimented with these ones. Just butter. Butter and Crazy Richard’s peanut butter. And butter,  peanut butter, and sugar free raspberry preserves. Sooooo good! 

 

I might also see if I can turn them into desserts. For now, I’m just going to enjoy them as sandwiches. Gotta get stuff to make hot ham and American cheese, turkey and swiss, and roast beef and provolone! Oh! And one of my favorites … BLTs. Actually, I might have everything I need for the BLTs.

Um… I gotta go. 🙂

Photo credit (woman standing on dock overlooking lake): Pixabay

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The #Chaffle Train – and a WYR

The chaffle what?

I know. The term confused me for a minute too. Kind of like Bennifer, Brangelina, or other portmanteaus like breathalyzer (breath & analyzer), mimsy (miserable & flimsy), and bodacious (bold & audacious).

Little did I know, when I first saw the word, that it might have a positive impact on my life. Diet and energy-wise anyway. Maybe I’ll make up my own word there – ‘dinergy.’ Or not.

‘Chaffles’ – or chaffel-like foods – have been around since the first time someone threw brownie batter into a waffle maker because they were too impatient to preheat the oven. The first instance of the word though, as near as I can find, was in 2015 when Seabirds Kitchen in Southern California coined the term. Back then, it was a combination of churros, and waffles, and ice cream, and other yummy stuff.

Definitely not Trim Healthy Mama friendly. Fortunately, plenty of keto dieters have come up with recipes that are something I can add to my meal plans. In fact, I made four different kinds today.

First, I want to explain that a single egg, with a couple of scant tablespoons of low carb flour, an eighth cup or so of low fat mozzarella cheese, and various seasonings makes two chaffles in my Dash mini waffle maker (affiliate link – read about those here). So while it looks like a boatload of food, it’s really not that much. But it is all protein – and very filling!

Here are a couple of photos of tonight’s breakfast for supper. That’s a salad fork beside the ‘waffle chaffles,’ so you can see they’re not huge. But I was so stuffed I couldn’t finish the sandwich.

By the way, a keto chaffle is the portmanteau of cheese and waffle.

Anyway, enough about that. Time for some fun – another WYR (Would You Rather)…

Would you rather give up your favorite food for a year – or give up candy forever?

Appropriate question now that I’m back on my diet, isn’t it? 🙂

I guess I’d have to say I’d rather give up my favorite food. Because I have so many, choosing one to not eat for 365 days wouldn’t be too hard. And it would beat giving up all candy. Because even though I’m hoping to permanently cut sugar from my diet, there are still yummy healthier candies to be bought and made.

What about you? Let me know in the comments below. Which one would you choose to give up?

Photo credit: Pixabay.

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Sweetheart Saturday – My Best Sweetheart

I’ve been working on a novelette for the Tulley Falls series – which will be free for newsletter subscribers (working on starting that again too!) and listening to a lot more music, which helps get me in the frame of mind to write. I’ve also been trying to ‘expand my horizons’ regarding the kinds of music I listen to.

It’s no secret that I have some longstanding favorites – REO Speedwagon, Boston, Chicago, Backstreet Boys, N’Sync, Elton John, a few other groups, and hit and miss songs from the 80s/90s pop, country, oldies, and even some real old oldies.

When it comes to current stuff though…except for Ed Sheeran…I turn to my daughter for advice. Because not all of my characters can love REO Speedwagon as much as I do, right? 🙂

One song, though, drew me in the first time I heard it on the radio. Aria too (more on her in a minute – or few)…

I love it! But even more, I love listening to Aria sing along with it. She is my best sweetheart, by the way. <3 

If I let her see that I’m recording something, she’s more interested in making faces than singing so I have to hide it. One thing I noticed while recording this is that if she were to decide to sing opera one day, I’d have to put all of the glassware my mother collected into storage. 🙂

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If You Looked in My Fridge…(and an update)

Looking through some of the questions in the 300 Writing Prompts book, I think I’m going to really enjoy this one. Not that I don’t like what I’ve seen in the Would You Rather Questions book. Because I do. But some of the writing prompts just resonate a little more with me. And some are just fun. Like this one…

‘If you looked in my fridge right now, would you find?’ 

Just off the top of my head, a carton of 18 eggs, 2 pounds of bacon, 4 big packages of ground beef, a big package of chicken breasts, condiments, a loaf of lower carb bread, root beer and cola (not mine), juice (again, not mine), and butter. Maybe a science experiment or two but I just cleaned it out last week so maybe not quite yet. 

Now it’s your turn. What’s in your fridge. 🙂

Sorry, I asked Aria which one she liked better – the owl and the fridge or the elephant in the fridge. It was a tie so both are here today. 🙂

I am adding something here – and hoping not to jinx myself but… Maybe I should whisper it, just in case… 

There might be a light at the end of the tunnel. 

Proof of miracles: a serious infection that was thought to be a problem isn’t there. Another serious problem isn’t as serious as first thought. A third is under control with the correct meds. And my life might return to normal! Or at least mostly normal.

And I’m glad. Since I can’t seem to get enthused about other writing projects, I’ve revamped one I’ve worked on off and on – until I’m really looking forward to starting it. Instead of just being a regular old series, it’s going to be about the descendants of a town’s founding family, mostly set in modern time – but who knows. If it works out right, there may be a book or few set in the past.

Photo credit: Pixabay1 and Pixabay2

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I’m Back … I think

So…

That crisis thing I kind of told you about last month, the one that I thought was almost over… Well not so much. It got worse, and then it got a little worse than that, and now the patient is back in the hospital. That means frequent trips to visit again, which I hate doing because it means dealing with a lot of traffic in the ‘big city.’ Or one of three cities in Michigan that could be considered a big one.

It’s been frustrating to me because one, it’s not been pleasant for any of us. Two, it’s hard to stick to a good eating plan when you’re exhausted. And three, it’s even harder to write when you haven’t had nearly enough sleep for a month.

Today, on the way home from another visit, my daughter, Aria, and I stopped at a store. It’s an interesting one called Five Below – nothing is priced over five dollars. While they checked out many areas of the store, like a magnet, I was drawn immediately to the big display of books in the middle of the store.

Only five dollars for each book?!

There were quite a few I would have liked but since I’m going to be pouring a lot of money into the gas tank for only God knows how long, I chose two.

The titles? ‘300 Writing Prompts’ and ‘2000 Would You Rather Questions.’ (no authors listed, just publishing companies on the copyright page)

Odd choices, you might think. But as soon as I saw them, I knew they might help me get into a more regular writing habit. At least, I hope they will. Because I’ve analyzed my writing productivity in the past – and one of the things I was doing when I was writing more books was to blog three times a week. 

These things could help with two posts, a question one day and a prompt the next  – and I think they might be a lot of fun! The third day could be – well, maybe something that would surprise even me. A romantic video/song/proposal, flash fiction – just about anything could happen for that one. And it wouldn’t take a lot of time or energy, things I haven’t had enough of since late June. 

I also thought that you all could share your answers to each post in the comments below. So very quickly, here is the first ‘WYR’ (would you rather) question:

Would you rather live in a windmill or a lighthouse?

would rather live in a lighthouse, preferably on Lake Michigan. I absolutely love beaches, listening to waves washing up on shore and gulls flying around looking for something to eat. 

What about you? If you could choose to live in one, which would it be? A windmill or a lighthouse? And why?

Photo credit: Pixabay

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Life, Lemons, and Going with the Flow

If you have followed me at all, you’ll know I’m not – nor have I ever been – a summer lover. I’m usually counting down the days to October first like a child looks forward to Christmas morning. This summer has been no different – except it’s lasted ten times longer than usual. 

We’ve had what I’ll call a sort of crisis going on. In fact, Tuesday, will be five weeks. It feels more like a few months. Fortunately, the worst is almost over, though the recovery time for the patient will take a bit longer.

So life has definitely been trying to hand out lemons this summer – but I’ve been refusing the delivery. It’s put a crimp in my plans, and with all the traveling and added stress, I’ve been eating junk I really shouldn’t be eating on the Trim Healthy Mama plan(affiliate link). And, hey! It’s on sale for $4.99 through the end of July 2019! Yay! I just bought it because all I have is the Trim Healthy Table book. Now I need to finish this post and start reading that. 🙂

Anyway, back to those lemons…

I realized that I could let this change in my well laid plans throw me into a total state of chaos – or I could go with the flow. I chose to go with it. No, I haven’t written as much as I’d have liked (but I will be putting out some new short stories before the end of the month). And I’m still trying to eat better than I could if I weren’t trying at all.

In fact, I finally tried out a recipe I’ve been salivating over since I first found it several weeks ago. They’re a savory breakfast ‘cookie.’

Me being me, you know I tweaked it a bit. For one thing, I’m not turning the oven on in the summer so I cooked the whole mixture in a frying pan over low heat – first like scrambled eggs, then like pancakes (3 minutes on one side, then 3 minutes on the other side – after cutting in quarters and flipping)

Because I’m not doing keto, I also replaced a third of the almond flour with unflavored whey protein to cut down on the fat.  Next time, I’ll try for half.

It turned out fantastic! Even my picky son and daughter loved it (Aria, however, did not – too much sausage for her). There were enough leftovers for two more mornings – and it warms up great in the microwave. Served with half an apple, it was a perfect breakfast. Looking at the photo though, I have to say it tastes much better than it looks. 🙂

And now, I see it’s six-thirty and I’m wishing I had more of it made up. But I don’t so time to see about a quick supper. 

Psst: you might have figured out that the 30 blog posts in 30 days is never going to happen. That’s probably good news though. 😀

Photo Credit (lemons): Pixabay

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Schedules? Ha! (and an updated recipe)

So this will make what? Four out of seven days? Clearly, my plans to blog thirty days in a row isn’t going to happen. In my defense, my entire schedule has been thrown out of whack by a hospitalized relative, but knowing me, the odds of blogging every day for a month probably wouldn’t happen anyway. That whole squirrel joke? It’s not really a joke when it comes to me. All I have to do is blink sometimes and I’m distracted by the next shiny object.

Anyway, I’ve decided to change the theme of Wednesdays from witty to whiskery. Whiskery as in cute furry friends. So, if this one makes the cut, it will hereafter be known as Whiskery Wednesdays.

First, though, the recipe. 

I LOVE shake mixes. Breakfast shakes. Low carb shakes? Not so much. So last month, I came up with a shake mix I liked – a lot. But I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would. So I played around with the recipe until I did love it. All it took was a little more whey protein, a little more salt, and a tweaking of the sweetener. Or, more precisely, sweeteners. Here’s the new recipe…

Kristy’s Low Carb Chocolate Shake Mix

1 cup collagen (I use Custom Collagen)
1/2 cup powdered Swerve (or powdered sweetener of choice)
1 tablespoon Pyure
2 tablespoons Great Value (Walmart) Stevia (short green canister)
2/3 cup beef gelatin powder (like Now or Knox)
1 cup cocoa powder
4 scoops unflavored whey protein (I use this brand – and this is an affiliate link)
7 ‘twists’ sea salt (I used the coarse kind that comes in its own grinder)

Mix all well, making sure the whey protein is completely mixed. There are 12 scant 1/3 cup servings per batch with (roughly) 22 grams protein, 3 grams fiber, maybe half a gram of fat, and about 99 calories. These numbers don’t include the nutrition counts for whatever liquid you use.

When mixing, add about 4 oz. very hot/boiling water to mix to dissolve cocoa and sweeteners. Then fill with another 6 or 8 oz of liquid of choice, along with a couple of ice cubes. The colder it is, the more it will thicken.

And now for one of my favorite videos. I just want to hug Matisse every time I watch it. 🙂

Photo Credit: Pixabay

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Sweetheart Sunday

Two days. I made it two days in a row before I missed a day. In all fairness, it was stormy for part of the day and I won’t leave my computer plugged in during storms. Then my daughter and I had to make an emergency house repair. But mostly, I just forgot so we’re skipping straight to my first Sweetheart Sunday post of 2019. I’m being specific about the year because I’m pretty sure there are some Sweetheart Sunday posts from ‘yesteryear’ floating around the blog somewhere. 🙂

So today, I’m going to share a couple of scenes from one of my favorite movies. One I watched last night because I needed to see something with a pretty much perfect hero. And Landon Carter is in the top five of my favorite romantic leads. Yeah, I’m talking about A Walk to Remember (affiliate link). While I’ve never read the book (but intend to one day), the movie is one I’ve loved since the first time I saw it. How many times have I watched it? I don’t know. And if I did, I probably wouldn’t own up to it. 😀

Back to the scenes. The first one is the most important scene in the play the students are performing in the movie. It’s also the scene where you can watch Landon fall in love with Jamie. Or at least it finally hits him that he loves her. The way his expressions change is awesome – and shows what a great actor Shane West is.

The second one isn’t romantic at all, but it is one of my favorites. And one guaranteed to make me cry. Every. Single. Time. ***SPOILER ALERT*** though. If you haven’t seen the movie, you might want to skip this one. It gives away a big part of the plot.

I know the movie is seventeen years old now (yikes!) and most people inclined to see it likely have already. But if you haven’t, you should. It’s a great movie!

See you tomorrow. If I don’t forget again. Between now and then, let me know if you enjoyed Sweetheart Sunday post by clicking ‘Like’ below. And say hello in the comments. 🙂

Photo credit: Pixabay

 

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Just One of those Drives

Welcome to my first Funtabulous Friday – and to the 2nd of 30 posts … in a row!

I’m not sure whether Friday posts will make the cut once the ‘month’ is up but if they are, I plan to devote them to all things fun. Or things I consider fun, like the leisurely drive I took yesterday.

For the record, I’ve managed to get myself to southern Mississippi, Tennessee, and various places around Michigan and Indiana. All with old-fashioned paper maps (affiliate link). For someone  who tends to be a little directionally challenged, that’s quite an accomplishment. Because believe me, I’ve gotten lost a fair number of times.

Like yesterday afternoon, for instance. I wanted to get away for a while. No destination in mind, just a relaxing drive on back roads – where I could enjoy minimal traffic – and a nice breeze before heat warnings go into effect for the next two days.

My mistake was in thinking that one road ran the same direction as another. But it doesn’t. In fact, they each curve in different directions. Completely different. At one point during my little adventure, I wondered if I getting close to Oz. 

The problem – besides the curves – was a new bridge and traffic light on a road I’m not as familiar with as I’d thought. It threw me completely off.

Add to all that the fact that when I’m hopelessly turned around, I seem to be inclined to make right turns. Why? I have no idea. It’s just what I do – but I know if I tried going against what feels like the correct way, it would be the one time I should have gone right.

It always works out though.

One time, I couldn’t find Lake Michigan (specifically, public access). Somehow, I wound up deep in the sticks in an area of the state I wasn’t familiar with. So… I decided to follow a guy in a white truck. I figured I couldn’t get anymore lost than I was, and maybe wherever he was going was better than where I already was. When he pulled into a sand covered parking lot – and a sign said the beach – the public beach – was a quarter of a mile down a path … it proved I could get where I wanted to go. Even by accident. 🙂

Not yesterday though. Yesterday, with no phone signal (so no GPS), I have to thank the gentleman who was out walking his dog for some timely, easy to follow (think, right/left instead of N/E/S/W), and spot on – directions. He appeared shortly after I realized I had less than a quarter of a tank of gas. That’s too close to empty for my piece of mind, especially when I don’t have a clue where I am. It also brings to mind one of my favorite songs in the world.

Have you ever gotten lost on a meandering drive in the country? Let me know how it turned out in the comments below.

And if you think you might be a fan of Funtabulous Fridays, make sure you like this post.

Photo credit: Pixabay

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Expectations & Expermiments

Expectations…

When I decided I was going to start writing more regularly again, I set some attainable goals and looked forward to crossing each item off in my planner at the end of each day. I had this! After all, the first step to success is figure out what you want to achieve and how you’re going to make it happen.

Right? Not ……. exactly.

Things didn’t go exactly as planned. After taking most of the last three years off, establishing a good writing routine isn’t as easy as I’d thought it would be. So I’ve been doing some thinking (can that be a good thing?!). And I realized something. When I was getting a lot of books written, I was also blogging a lot more.

So…

Experiments…

This is where the experimentation comes in. I’m going to try to blog every day for the next 30 days. Each day of the week will have a theme:

Magnificent Mondays
Tasty Tuesdays
Witty Wednesdays
Tune-tastic Thursdays
Funtabulous Fridays
Sassy Saturdays
Sweetheart Sundays

At the end of the the 30 days, I’ll see which topics you – the readers – like the most. So, if you like some of the topics more than others, please like those posts – and comment below to let me know. I would hate to go longer than 30 days to get the numbers I’m looking for. 🙂

Before I forget, I’ll probably be putting an affiliate link in each post too. Click here to read more about that. In a nutshell though, if you click on the link and purchase something, Amazon will pay me a small (very small) commission. It won’t change the price for you though.

Anyway, to start off the first day, this is a topic near and dear to my heart. Music! And my newest favorite song is one of the most romantic songs I’ve ever heard. I listen to it way too much because Aria knows enough of the lyrics to sing along with it too. 

Be patient, it takes about 17 minutes to get to where the song starts. And if you like it, check out Ed’s music here.

Photo credit: Pixabay

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