Saturday, June 25, 2011

First Moomers, now this...

The view from my office window...

I'm never gonna lose weight this summer...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Book Review: How To Write A Book Proposal by Michael Larsen

With more than 100,000 copies sold, How to Write a Book Proposal has been the go-to resource for getting your work published for almost 25 years. This Writer's Digest classic from literary agent Michael Larsen outlines in a clear step-by-step manner how to create an effective nonfiction book proposal. The 4th edition of the book features information about recent changes in the publishing industry, updated trend information, new sample proposals, a completely updated resources section, and a new chapter on online promotion.

Well, that pretty much sums it up - a clear step-by-step manner to create an effective nonfiction book proposal. I loved the organization of this book: sidebars, bullet points, indices, actual examples. It's easy to find the main points, then go back and review them. As an instruction book, it's very easy to read and engaging. 

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the Thomas Nelson Book Sneeze program.

Monday, June 20, 2011

TC Beach Bums

For Father's Day, Matt and I took our dads (and moms) to a Traverse City Beach Bums game. Since Matt just got a snazzy new hair cut, I decided to get a quick pic of us.

Here are the happy daddies. Technically Matt's not a daddy, but I think Bucket and Midgie view him as a two-legged father figure.

The weather was great. The Bums won. It was a good weekend.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Cat that Likes Yogurt by Grace Hales

My friend, Hope, has a 7 year-old daughter, Grace. Grace loves animals, so when Matt and I went out of town, I asked if she would mind stopping by my house and checking on the cats. When I was showing Grace the ropes, I told her stories about how much Bucket likes yogurt.

That was about two months ago. Today her mom called me. Grace's teacher gave each student a scrapbook of the school year, and inside was this book.

Here's Grace's inspiration - my Bucket.

Thanks for the beautiful story, Gracie. Bucket loves you, too!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Finally! 2011 Grilling Season is Underway!

Matt cleaned the grill, but we had to replace the igniter. Then there was this clicking sound when we opened the propane tank, so we replaced it. The click continued, so we replaced the regulator. And finally, we had a clean, working grill! So here it is - my chicken and pepper dinner. Yee haw!

Friday, June 03, 2011

Book Review: A Great Catch by Lorna Seilstad

It is the beginning of a new century at Lake Manawa Resort in Iowa, but some things never change. When 22-year-old Emily Graham's meddlesome aunts and grandmother take it upon themselves to find her a husband among the resort guests, the spunky suffragist is determined to politely decline each and every suitor. She has neither the time nor the need for a man in her busy life.

Carter Stockton, a recent college graduate and pitcher for the Manawa Owls baseball team, intends to enjoy every minute of the summer at Lake Manawa, Iowa, before he is forced into the straitlaced business world of his father. 

When Emily crashes into Carter at a roller skating rink, neither could guess what would come next. Will Carter strike out? Or will Emily cast her vote for a love that might cost her dreams?

This is the second of Seilstad's Lake Manawa series and it's absolutely delightful. Emily and Carter's struggles (an over-worked, over-committed woman and a man torn between his heart and his responsibilities), though rooted in the early 1900s, translate well into today's society. It's very easy to relate with both of them.

Add to that an almost dreamlike setting, some interfering (yet lovable) aunts, and a little bit of love and A Great Catch is a great read. If you like Karen Witemeyer, I think you'll enjoy Lorna Seilstad.

*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.


Leave your name and email address to get entered to win a copy of this book!! I have a few other books to review this month, and I'll be giving them all away on June 28. Leave a comment on each post and you'll be entered each time.

Good luck!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Reuben: My New Obsession

I don't know why it started, but a few years ago I ordered a reuben sandwich at Arby's. While the Arby's sandwich isn't the best example of any sandwich, it was enough to catch my attention. Since that time, I've made it my mission to find the best reubens out there. I've enjoyed my experiment, but sometimes I want to enjoy one of those sour, salty, sensations in the comfort of my own home.

Quite a while ago, a friend of mine made slow cooker reubens. A yummy, creamy reuben-inspired dip for bread, rolls, or crackers. Heaven. I neglected to get the recipe from her, so I did what any foodie without a recipe does - I went to and searched for one.

Mmmm...creamy, reuben bliss. I have to tweak the recipe a bit (it's a little heavy on the cream cheese for my liking), but it sure hits the spot. I'm going to consider this my starter recipe and work on it:

16 oz. jar of sour kraut (drained)
8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
2 c. shredded Swiss cheese
2 c. shredded, cooked corned beef
1/4 c. thousand island dressing

Just dump it all in a crock pot: 45 minutes on high, or put it on low and let it coast. Make sure to stir it a few times while it warms. That's it!

I'm not a big fan of bottled salad dressing, so I made that, too. This can definitely be tweaked to your preference. I don't usually eat the stuff (except on my reubens and Big Macs), so I made a basic recipe:

1 c. mayonaisse
3/4 c. ketchup
4 t. evaporated milk (more if you like it creamier)
Garlic powder
Worchestsire Sauce
Sweet relish or diced sweet pickles (as many as you want for your preferred chunkiness)

I enjoyed this fine dip on some homemade bread (a new recipe - it rose!)