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Book Rec: Just Look Up by Courtney Walsh

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Happy Friday, friends! It’s time for another book recommendation, this time recorded live on Facebook this morning! I’d like to say it was because I had a brilliant thought out plan to do it, but really it was because I ran out of time to record this week and decided to do it on the fly.

Long story short: I loved Just Look Up by Courtney Walsh and think that you might too. So check out what I have to say about it and then pick up your own copy at one of the links below!

Grab you own copy at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or ChristianBook.com.

My Planner Obession (and a giveaway)

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I’ve had a planner problem for years. I’m one of those weird analog throwbacks who can’t remember anything unless it’s written down on actual paper. Somehow, putting the appointment in my phone is instant license to forget it, and to forget that I need to check. Alarms? Never work as intended.

However, it’s harder to find a generic planner that works for me than you would think. I like to keep a daily task list, a weekly meal plan, both weekly and monthly calendars, along with habit trackers and social media calendars. Basically, I needed a way to keep track of every aspect of both my work and personal life and the flexibility to switch up depending on season. (The summer while my kids are off looks drastically different than the school year, for example.)

Enter the Bullet Journal method. Sort of. Because while I love the simplicity of the lists and the little symbols, I also need a standard monthly calendar layout and a Monday-start weekly layout that shows me everything I need to know for the entire week. Fortunately, there are loads of inspiration for layouts both simple and elaborate on Pinterest and Instagram. (One of my favorites is Boho Berry but you can also follow my productivity board on Pinterest for more ideas.)

Enter the lovely dot grid journals from May Designs. At 80 pages, that gives me enough space to keep yearly calendars (both regular and school year), monthly layouts, to do lists, reading logs, and a host of other things I like to keep track of, as well as weekly layouts for an entire quarter. And while I do have to recreate the journal each quarter, I find my needs change enough from quarter-to-quarter that I’m ready to tweak my previous layout by the time I fill up a book.

Curious to try this out for yourself? You’re in luck… to begin the new year, I’m giving away a May Designs journal: a lovely classic blush planner that has twelve monthly layouts in the front and blank dot grid pages in the back for anything you might use it as.

I chose this planner because it has one of my favorite scripture verses on the front: 1 Thessalonians 5:24

Just tell me what you’d use it for, and I’ll choose one commenter below to win this little beauty on January 16th!

 

 

A Writer’s Life: Why Plotting Doesn’t Work for Me by Amber Lynn Perry

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I’m pleased to welcome my friend and fellow writer, historical romance author Amber Lynn Perry, to the blog today! Amber writes fabulous colonials with just-as-fabulous covers. If you follow her on social media, you’ll know that she acts as her own cover model and the costuming is from her own historical closet! Clearly this is a writer who lives and breathes her genre. Today she’s put together a video taking sides in the plotting vs. pantsing debate.


 

Carla, thank you so very much for having me and for allowing me to talk about writing. I don’t often do that these days (I spend most of my time vlogging about the colonial era) so it’s a real treat to get to discuss my other great passion in life. In this video I’m talking about the difference between plotting and “pantsing” and why plotting just doesn’t seem to work for me.

 

 

So, I sincerely want to know—even if you don’t write—do you think you are a plotter kind of person, or a “pantster”? Let me know! I love to learn about everyone’s different experience and what works for them, and what doesn’t.

Thank you again, and have a very great 2018!!

 

Amber Lynn Perry is a historical romance novelist, focusing on her favorite time in American history, the Revolutionary era. She received a Bachelor’s degree from Portland State University and currently lives in Washington state with her husband and two daughters. She loves to hear from readers and you can contact her through her website, www.amberlynnperry.com or through her Facebook page.
 

Read an excerpt of Saturday Night Supper Club

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Saturday Night Supper ClubHappy New Year, friends! I had all the good intentions of writing kick off posts for 2018, but I was having too much fun having my entire family home in one place for a change, so I never got to it. If I were going to make a resolution, it would be to live more in the moment, so I say that’s a good way to start things off!

However, I have a book launching in almost exactly one month. Let’s repeat that: one month. Hard to believe, especially since my last book was published in mid-2015, 2016 if you include Jilted. So I’m thrilled to give you a sneak peak of The Saturday Night Supper Club. Click here to read the first three chapters now! And don’t forget to subscribe to new posts on the left side of this page to be the first to hear about some fun promotions I’ll be hosting for launch.

Happy reading… and may your 2018 be filled with lots of big books.

Favorite Things: Almond-Coconut Creamer

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As some of you who interact with me on social media may know, I follow a modified auto-immune paleo diet. For the most part, it’s been a pretty easy transition– I already avoided processed foods, made most of my meals, and skewed heavily toward vegetarian menus. Dairy hasn’t even been much of a challenge to replace with all the alternative milks available, except for one thing: creamer for my tea and coffee.

I found an excellent option in Califia Farms’s Vanilla Almondmilk Creamer, but it has one drawback–it’s $6 a container! Not to mention the fact that it’s only carried at one store near me and perpetually out of stock. So I browsed the internet for various non-dairy creamer recipes, dug into my nutmilk making experience, and put together my own recipe that suits my taste perfectly.

There’s two ways to make this recipe: raw and cooked. The advantage of keeping it raw is that you get all the nutrients from the almonds. The disadvantage is that it tends to separate when added to your hot coffee or tea. Heating it emulsifies the fat-water mixture without having to add lecithin or other additives and thickens the mixture as well without losing too much volume (a good tip for those of you who make your own almond milk but like it thicker). The choice is completely yours.

 

Almond-Coconut Milk Creamer
Print Recipe
A non-dairy nutmilk creamer for your daily coffee and tea!
Servings Prep Time
3 cups 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3 cups 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 30 minutes
Almond-Coconut Milk Creamer
Print Recipe
A non-dairy nutmilk creamer for your daily coffee and tea!
Servings Prep Time
3 cups 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3 cups 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cups
Instructions
  1. Place almonds in a jar or bowl and cover completely with filtered water. Soak overnight or at least eight hours to soften. Drain water and rinse with fresh filtered water; drain again.
  2. Place almonds in a blender with two cups of water and blend until completely pulverized. The mixture will be thick. Pour almond mixture into a nutmilk bag or cheesecloth set over a bowl or large measuring cup. Squeeze the liquid from the almond meal. This should yield approximately 2 cups of almond cream.
  3. Wash out the blender and return almond cream to blender jar. Add coconut cream, sweetener, vanilla, and salt, and blend until smooth and uniformly mixed. If using your creamer raw, transfer to a jar or bottle in the refrigerator and chill before use.
  4. If cooking, transfer creamer to a small pot and bring to a boil on medium-low heat. Reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, and heat for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Mixture will be significantly thicker, so you can use as is, or stir in filtered water until you've reached the desired consistency. Transfer to a jar or bottle in the refrigerator and chill before use.
Recipe Notes

If you prefer not to use monkfruit sweetener, substitute honey, maple syrup, granulated sugar, or stevia to taste.

Creamer will last approximately 5 days in the refrigerator.

Share this Recipe

The Saturday Night Supper Club ARC Giveaway

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Now that we’re starting to get some December-ish weather here in Colorado after an unseasonably warm fall, I’m in the Christmas mood! Which means I want to give four lucky entrants an Advance Reader Copy of my upcoming book, The Saturday Night Supper Club.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with ARCs, they’re “unedited” not-final versions of books that are sent out to reviewers and readers ahead of time to build buzz. So this is a preliminary review copy that I’m giving away a full six weeks before it’s available in store!

The only required entry is signing up for my newsletter, but I promise I won’t spam you to death with emails… plus, I will be sharing the first three chapters to my newsletter subscribers next week, so you won’t want to miss that! And don’t forget to use the easy Facebook and Twitter entry options. The more entries, the greater your chance to win! May the odds… well, you know. 🙂

 

Saturday Night Supper Club ARC Giveaway