Friday, November 6, 2015

Who knew a mug could change your life?

Life is hectic, I ain't gonna lie. It's easy to let things get in the way of writing when life keeps punching you in the gut in all other areas. So what's a girl to do when she's strapped for time but wants to finish her book? This mug. All it took was a picture of this mug popping up on my Twitter feed a while back to remind me that there's always time to get shit done if you want it badly enough.

So when I'm swamped with writing projects to pay the bills and running myself ragged dealing with the drama that is my life since my mom's cancer came back, I think of this mug. If gurl can build a freakin' empire, have a family, and look amazing, then surely I can find a few extra minutes a day to unleash the characters in my head onto paper, right?

Now if only this mug was still available...

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Christmassy Book Awesomeness!

Long time no write! What better way to make my comeback than to share some festive book awesomeness with you...if there are any of you still checking in. While working away on my own book, which I will talk more about in my next post, I've been tempted by the many gorgeous holidaybook covers popping up on my Twitter feed. They're just so pretty--magical, really. 

Many of these have been ordered in hopes that I will be able to curl up by the fire and enjoy them sometime between now and Christmas. I'll let you know what I think of each as I finish them. In the meantime though, here are 11 Christmas-themed reads out in time to get you feeling all romantic and festive just in time for the most wonderful time of the year. Enjoy!

Welcome to the charming seaside town of White Cliff Bay, where Christmas is magical and love is in the air…
Penny Meadows loves her home – a cosy cottage decorated with pretty twinkling fairy lights and stunning views over the town of White Cliff Bay. She also loves her job as an ice-carver, creating breathtaking sculptures. Yet her personal life seems frozen. 
When Henry and daughter Daisy arrive at the cottage to rent the annex, Penny is determined to make them feel welcome. But while Daisy is friendly, Henry seems guarded. 
As Penny gets to know Henry, she realises there is more to him than meets the eye. And the connection between them is too strong to ignore … 
While the spirit of the season sprinkles its magic over the seaside town and preparations for the ice sculpting competition and Christmas eve ball are in full swing, can Penny melt the ice and allow love in her heart? And will this finally be the perfect Christmas she’s been dreaming of

Everyone loves Christmas – don’t they? 

Carrie Blake loves her job as a nanny but, while her friends are settling down, all of Carrie’s spare time is spent with other people’s families. Though it breaks her heart, her New Year’s resolution is to embark on a new career and fix her love life. 

As Carrie starts her last job, she’s sure she’ll be going out on a high – the house is amazing, the kids are adorable, and she’s in charge of decorating the tree! 
The only problem could be her boss… single-dad, Adam Fletcher might be both handsome and successful, but he’s always working. Doesn’t he realise he’s missing out on precious moments with his son and daughter? 
As Adam’s family arrive for Christmas including his sensitive sister, Sharon, and his fun-loving elderly Grandpa, Walter, Carrie realises that she might just have found the perfect allies in her quest to persuade Adam to loosen up. There’s still time for Carrie to make this the best Christmas ever… after all, Christmas is the time for miracles, isn’t it? Let the festivities begin! 

Single mother Abbey Fuller loves her family more than anything, and doesn’t regret for a moment having had to put her dreams of being an interior designer on hold. But with her son, Max, growing up, when a friend recommends her for a small design job she jumps at the chance. How hard can it be? 

Nick Sinclair needs his house decorated in time for his family’s festive visit – and money is no object. What he doesn’t need is to be distracted from his multi-million dollar business – even if itis Christmas. 

When Abbey pulls up to the huge Sinclair mansion, she has a feeling she might be out of her depth. And when she meets the gorgeous, brooding Nicholas Sinclair, she knows that she’s in real trouble… 

With the snow falling all around, can Abbey take the chance to make her dreams of being a designer come true? And can she help Nick to finally enjoy the magic of Christmas? 

The most wonderful time of the year?
Katie Warham has just one wish this year…to have the best Christmas ever!
If only she could lock herself away in a cloud of flour and sugar at her cosy little tearoom, Crumbtious Cakes, instead of spending the festive season trapped with her judgemental mother, crazy Aunt Gina and loved-up celebrity brother Carl…
But Katie never expected her ex-boyfriend, widower Sam – and his two adorable children – to turn up on her doorstep. She didn’t think that any man could tempt her under the mistletoe this year, but Sam might just prove the exception! And as the snow begins to fall and Katie puts the final touches to her famous Christmas cake, she begins to wonder, could her Christmas wish actually come true?

For the perfect Christmas…
When career-girl Holly Brice learns that her estranged father has died, she decides to take a trip down memory lane and find out about the man she never knew.
Arriving in the sleepy little Dartmoor village, she’s shocked to discover that she’s inherited the cosy little cottage she remembers so fondly, a whole load of money – and her father’s adorable dog, too!
Head to snow-covered Devon!
And as the first snowflakes begin to fall and Holly bumps into her gorgeous neighbour, Jack Nelson, life gets even more complicated! Men have always been off the cards for high-flying Holly, but there’s something about mysterious writer Jack that has her re-thinking her three-date rule…
You’ve seen Mark Darcy in the reindeer jumper his mother gave him, now meet Marco Cavelli in this season’s hottest Christmas knit!
For single mum Maggie, Christmas has always been a family occasion – her daughter Ellen filling the house with her bubbly warmth and mistletoe, her dad Paddy having one too many festive tipples, and the traditional family Christmas tree looking like a drunken elf vomited a rainbow all over it.
But this year, with both Ellen and Paddy away for the holidays, Maggie’s facing a truly blue Christmas – alone with nothing but a bottle of Baileys and an M&S turkey dinner.
Until walking the snowy streets of Oxford, Marco Cavelli quite literally crashes into her life – and, complete with broken leg, becomes her unexpected houseguest. All dreamy brown eyes and 6’5” of gorgeousness, the man is hotter and more delicious than a freshly baked mince pie.
Though Maggie always thought it’s a truth universally acknowledged that you never kiss a man in a Christmas jumper?

Two best friends. One big lie. The best bake off EVER.

Bella Bradley is the queen of television baking – a national treasure. Her Christmas specials have been topping the ratings for years and her marriage to Peter ‘Silver Fox’ Bradley is the stuff ofHello magazine specials. 
But this year things are going to be different. 
For Amy Lane, Bella’s best friend from school, life hasn’t held quite the same sparkle. And when Amy’s husband walks out three weeks from Christmas, it seems their lives are further apart than ever. 
Amy has watched Bella’s rise to fame fondly, despite the fact Bella was always a terrible cook. But when she realises that Bella’s latest Christmas book is made up entirely of Amy’s mother’s recipes, the gloves are off… 
After winning a competition to appear on Bella’s TV show, Amy is going to make sure that for Bella and her viewers, this will definitely be a Christmas to remember… 

One lost dog. Two lonely hearts. A Manhattan Christmas full of magic.
'Home Alone 2: Lost in New York' meets 'Marley & Me' with the romance of 'When Harry Met Sally'! This is the story of shy homebody Charlotte who loses her beloved pet dog Hudson the week before Christmas. With the help of uptight Englishman Henry, Charlotte goes on a magical treasure hunt around Manhattan to find her furry, four-legged bestie, who she rescued from the trash years before and gave him a place in her home – and her heart.
Spotted in Central Park as one of Santa's Little Helpers, or last seen in the arms of a supermodel in Times Square, Hudson leads Charlotte and Henry on a very merry dance around the Big Apple, where love, (or should that be Christmas?!) actually is all around.

An angel gets its wings…
Belle has taken all the Christmas decorations down. This year they won’t be celebrating.
As foster parents, Belle and Jim have given many children the chance of a happier start in life. They’ve loved them as if they were their own. They shouldn’t have favourites but little Lauren has touched their hearts. And now her mother is well enough to take her back and Belle can’t bear the loss.
Hence, Christmas is cancelled.
So when Jim crashes his car one icy December night, after an argument about Lauren, Belle can only blame herself. Everything she loves is lost. And Belle finds herself standing on The Ha’Penny Bridge wishing she had never been born.
But what happens to a Christmas wish when an angel is listening…
Will Belle realise, before it’s too late, that her life is the most wonderful life of all?
Inspired by the timeless tale of beloved Christmas movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, Carmel Harrington’s next book tells the story of Belle, a young woman and foster carer from Dublin who faces the hardest decision of her life this Christmas on The Ha’Penny Bridge.

Christmas: it’s the most wonderful time of the year … to fall in love

The temperature is dropping, snow is on its way and Hayley Walker is heading for New York with one wish … to start over. 
With her daughter Angel, Hayley is ready for adventure. But there’s more to New York than twinkly lights and breathtaking skyscrapers. Angel has her own Christmas wish – to find her real dad.
While Hayley tries to fulfil her daughter’s wish, she crosses paths with billionaire Oliver Drummond. Restless and bored with fast living, there’s something intriguing about him that has Hayley hooked. 
Can Hayley dare to think her own dreams might come true – could A New York Christmas turn into a New York Forever? 

Lola Plumpton can’t believe her luck.
Christmas is coming and her gorgeous boyfriend, Nathan has offered up his swanky apartment to host the Plumpton family’s festive celebrations. It looks set to be a Christmas to remember. And it is – but for all the wrong reasons.
As the 25th December draws closer, Lola unexpectedly finds herself missing some key components:
1. A job (but who needs one of those anyway, when you’ve got the ultimate family Christmas to prepare for?)

2. Money (no job equals no money, it turns out.)

3. A boyfriend (yup, Nathan the hunk has said adios to Lola – and in the *most* embarrassing way possible…)

4. Somewhere to host her fabulous family Christmas (because of course, no Nathan means no des res apartment.)

Lola’s at a loss about what to do. But one way or another, she’s going to make this the happiest Christmas her family’s ever had…

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It's Move-In Day!!!!!!!!!!!!

My super fancy light fixture is up as is the baseboard and window trim! Today's move-in day! Wheeeeee!

Let there be light - sparkly, disco-esque light!
The door...and my soul ;) 
Very pleased with the flooring choice!    
A HUGE thank you to Lance Cline from C and M Renovations in Simcoe for this amazing job! Fast, friendly, and overall awesome!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Writing Shed Progress in Pictures

Can I just say once again how freakin' excited I am about my writing shed! By the end of the day today, the floors, trim, and fancy light will be up and the inside of my writing shed will be officially ready to decorate and enjoy! With the rain we're getting I'm not quite sure when the contractor will be able to get to work on the outside of the shed, but that won't stop me from getting in there and christening my new workspace, hopefully with a masterpiece!

Here are pictures of the writing shed in order of progress so you can see the brilliant transformation that has taken place in just a matter of days:

Outside of the shed as it was when we bought the house

The interior of the shed/workshop before we moved in

Old moldy plywood gone, ready for drywall. Look at my new door and windows!
Finally, a window of my own!
Even with the new door and window, it still looks kinda' creepy...for now.
The drywall is up!!

Yeah, I'm excited about the sub-floor and knotty pine laminate flooring!
My yellow walls! Not quite as yellow as it appears in pic though

See, not so yellow :)
The next time I walk through this door it'll be to write :)

More Than a Writer

It's Monday morning and I'm glad to be back at it. I've been doing my best to set aside weekends for downtime but have to admit that by Monday morning I am usually pretty excited to get back to writing. Not that I don't love and need time to unwind, I guess I just really love what I do -- something everyone should be able to say.

As a writer I am always on the look out for projects that are best suited to me and my skills and I get so wrapped up in looking for writing assignments that I keep forgetting that there are other things I can do, like translation. Being born to Portuguese parents who raised me to speak both, I have been given quite the gift! Okay, my parents can't take all the credit because it was actually my love of Portugal and all things Portuguese that led me to learning how to properly read and write it and not just speak it. As such, I am super excited this morning after realizing that this is another way that I can supplement my income and still get my write-on. Who'd have thought that all of those summers spent lazing in the ocean and a remote village and riding my grandparent's donkey (who was named after the Portuguese Prime Minister!!) would pay off in the way of an income. Hee-haw!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I Love Sparkly Things!

With the writing shed/garden office progressing faster than I had even thought possible, I had to run out and get me a light fixture for the space. This was after realizing that my refinishing skills leave much to be desired and the chandelier that I tried to re-purpose looks like, well, crapola. I wanted something sparkly and glamorous that would really liven the space up and I found it at my local build-it center. TA DA:

 It is sooooo much more sparkly in person and just what I wanted! What's better than shiny chrome and crystals?? What do ya' think? Très funky, non?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Writer's Dream Week

Though I was less than pleased to wake up to a winter wonderland outside after having convinced myself that Spring really was here, I am just tickled freakin' pink at all of the exciting things going on in my life as a writer this week. For starters, the new site for my book is being designed as I write this and any day now I will have the sweetest site ever to help not only promote my book and line up a few more inspiring essays for inclusion, but also a great place for women of all...okay, most...ages to go to for fun tips and advice, a place to vent, and giveaways and other fun stuff. I am sooooo lovin' the creative juices that have been flowing since I've been able to start focusing more on my book.

So what else has made this a dream week for a writer? We finalized the plans for the writing shed with the contractor, picked out the flooring and other finishing touches, and he is in our backyard working away right now! Yay!! This has been a looooong time coming  and I imagine that a writing shed/garden office -- especially one as big and beautiful as this one -- would be every writer's dream, no? I am so excited to see it done! The contractor has estimated 7 to 10 days for completion. I'm over the moon!

Not that there's much more that can top the writing shed news, but I am also very happy to have received my order of few books: The Only Grammar Book You'll Ever Need (my editors will be pleased to see this!), Professional Blogging for Dummies, which came highly recommended by a VERY successful blogger friend, and Shedworking. That's right, it's a book all about sheds and the people who work in them. I love it.

And, one final purchase that I want to gush about is a poster that I am really excited to hang in my office; the Holstee Manifesto. Words to live by which are very representative of the way I try to live my life and the advice that I often try to pass off to friends and family who don't seem to be enjoying their lives the way they should. Here it is in case you've been living under a rock and haven't yet stumbled on it elsewhere.