Thursday, October 30, 2014

Gearing up for November

Welcome back to me!


I just got back from visiting my family in Virginia and must say, although I'm glad to be back to home-sweet-home, I'm also sad inside. My parents are aging, Mom is turning 87 in a few weeks and my dad turns 89 this Saturday. They are both in pretty rough shape physically and have a hard time getting around. On top of that, my dad has Alzheimer's so it's doubly rough on my mom. However, she is making the best of it and just takes things one day at a time. Thankfully with a lot of hard work and research, my sister and brother were able to find my parents some really great and dependable help. We have a home health specialist coming in 3 days a week and my dad goes to Eldercare twice a week. Both of these have been huge blessings to both my parents and us kids. It was hard to leave them but much easier knowing they were in capable hands.

Now that I'm back, I'm trying to gear up for some upcoming book events. This weekend, Saturday, Nov. 1st, I will be at the Louisiana Book Festival in downtown Baton Rouge. I look forward to this every year because thousands of people walk the sidewalks of this event. It's wonderful seeing so many people that have a love of books.

November 15th I'll be at the Livingston Festival in Livingston, LA and then Nov. 21 & 22nd you can find me at the Broadmoor Arts & Crafts Festival.

I'll also be participating in this years PiBoldMo (Picture Book Idea Month). This will be my first year participating and I'm really looking forward to it. Hopefully I'll be able to come up with some great story ideas!


That's it for me. I'm going to be a busy beaver this month but I'm ready! How about you? Do you have any big writing events coming up?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Welcome Fall!

Finally one of my favorite seasons is here! To those of you who live up north, it's probably been visiting you for a few weeks already. Down here in Louisiana, it visited us for two days last week but summer has pushed it's way back. We are back in the high 80's to 90's. GO AWAY SUMMER!! I am in desperate need of fall.

What I love most about fall is the gorgeous colors of the leaves, which in Louisiana we don't get to see much of. But a girl can dream!



Getting out the boots. I love my boots. To me they are the most comfortable shoe to wear and besides, they sure look cute!



It's time to warm up some chili! I love chili, Yum! But only when the weather is cold and crisp.



Sweats! Like boots, I love throwing on my sweats and romping around. They might not show off our women's physique but who cares! They are comfy. (I'm not posting a picture because let's face it, we all look like crap in them!)

Taking walks with my dogs and looking at all the Halloween decorations.



Candy corn! Love that stuff especially the fat orange pumpkins.

 
 
The new TV season begins! Thank goodness because I get so sick of summer reruns! This year I'm enjoying the new show The Mysteries of Laura. Has anyone else been watching it? Also, I really look forward to seeing the new episodes of shows like Revenge, Nashville, Scandal, Greys Anatomy, The Millers, and The Voice. I'm happy now!
 
 
And I love, love, love attending the Louisiana Book Festival that happens every November. It's so enjoyable to me to sit outside in the crisp cool air, and watch people's reaction to my books. I hope they enjoy my new book, Kailee Finds Magic IN Words. Wish me luck!
 
 

 
 
Another thing I love about fall coming is going to visit my family in Virginia. I usually do that every fall. My husband stays home so I get my own, real quality time with my parents, sister and brother. In fact, I'm heading up there this week so that means I will not be updating my blog until I return.
 
What do you like best about fall?

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Discoveries by Allyn

Remember Hints by Heloise? Well today I'm blogging about some really cool things I've discovered this year that are making my life easier! And I'm all about anything that is quicker, better, and more efficient. I thought it would be fun to share a few of my discoveries with you.

Some of you may already know all about them but they are new to me! The first two are things my mother-in-law told me about.

Washing windows with newspaper: When my mother-in-law told me she's been doing this for years... well I thought for sure she'd lost it. Wouldn't the black from the newsprint get the window all dirty? This didn't make one bit of sense to me. However, I tried it and shazam!! My windows have never sparkled so much. The newsprint doesn't rub off onto the windows, not one bit. Dummy me has been using paper towels or a cloth all these years and was always left cussing at the dust residue left on the window. The newspaper method leaves no residue whatsoever. Just clean, sparkling, beautifully clean windows. However, if you don't use plastic gloves, your fingers may end up with black on them. Anyway, I'll never use paper towels again! Thank you mom!

Making bacon in the oven:  I've always fried my bacon and then gotten so upset at the messy grease you get everywhere. Again my "very wise" mother-in-law told me she puts hers in the oven. So I tried it and it works just fine. And so much less mess. I put my bacon in a broiler pan so that the bacon grease will drip into the bottom pan. Cook at 350 for about an hour. Works great! I usually do that whenever I'm making bacon for a salad or something like that. I still prefer the taste of fried bacon but this is a great secondary method.

Put your paint brush in the freezer: I don't know about you but when I'm painting a large area I hate the fact that when you stop for the day or even a few hours you have to wash your paint brush for the next days painting or it will get all dried up on your brush. Well someone once told me to put foil around the brush and stick it in the freezer. Then about 20 minutes before you're going to paint again, take it out. Once it thaws out a little, your brush will be nice and moist and ready to go again. I do this all the time now. Works wonderful! I know now that there are some things you can buy at the store to wrap around the brush giving it the same effect but why pay money for something when you don't have to. Just wrap it in foil!

Hairspray for your eyelashes: This is probably my favorite discovery this year. And no, I'm not really talking about hairspray but this works just like it. All my life I've spent an extra 15-20 minutes on my make-up because I wanted my eyelashes to look curly and long. I would curl them, put mascara on, curl them again...and again and even then I wouldn't be truly happy because 10 minutes later they'd look like I hadn't done anything to them at all! So the last year or so I've been playing around with different mascara's. I even tried using fake eyelashes for awhile until the glue was
ruining my own lashes. FINALLY I discovered primer for lashes. The kind I use is by Dior called Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum. It shows up white on your lashes until you put the mascara on. This stuff is a life saver! It works like hairspray for the lashes. I then discovered a fantastic mascara that lengthens the lashes. It's also by Dior and it's called Iconic Overcurl. Now both of these products cost about $20 each, which is more than I like to spend on mascara, but they both last forever and are worth their weight in gold. Here's what I do. I curl one eyes lashes, then put on a generous portion of primer. Not a lot, but enough to where all the lashes look white.


Then I curl the other eye and do the same. Once the primer has dried just a little bit I apply a very thin coat of mascara and my eyelashes look marvelous! Long and curled just beautifully and the best part is...they stay that way all day. I have cut down my 15 minutes of messing with mascara down to about 5. Well worth the money!








Oven mat for the oven: If you're like me, my oven is always getting crap all over the bottom and I absolutely hate cleaning it. One day I found a silver non-stick ovenliner that has saved my life from ever having a filthy oven bottom again! All you do is place this liner (which can be trimmed to fit your oven) on the bottom rack of your oven. Then anything that drips off your food will now end up on this liner, leaving the bottom of your oven clean. The liner can just be wiped off or even put in the dishwasher. I think I found mine at Bed-Bath-and Beyond. Love it!


Ring around the toilet: I don't know what the heck is wrong with the water in our house but it's constantly leaving a ring around my toilets that wont come off. I'm constantly using cleaner and my toilet brush but it just won't come off. Finally I discovered the Pumice stick. Works beautifully, however you need to make sure you keep it nice and wet while your scrubbing. But it does the job and leaves your toilet nice and sparkling!

Ok, that's it for me. This was fun! So if I come across any other "life saving" discoveries in my life I'll pass those along sometime again.

Have any of you discovered something lately that has made your life a little easier?