Giving my Resolutions a Little Wiggle Room

So the new year is almost upon us and I thought I would get in on the resolution-making that is happening out there. But instead of setting myself up for failure, I gave myself some wiggle room.

1. Exercise 1 hour every day. Does repeatedly walking from the desk to the fridge count? No? Okay, then scratch that. How about exercise more? Doable right? No rules about type, frequency or duration. Just more. Considering I was a sloth from August to December of last year, this should be easy.

2. Read a book a week. Now I know there are people out there who consume a book a day, but that’s just not me. A couple of years ago, I’d completely fallen out of the habit of reading. Sure I flipped through a couple of Better Homes and Gardens magazines here and there, but I never touched a full-length novel.  Now I’m back in the game and loving it. And I’m ready to do more. Maybe a book a week, we’ll see, but I just want to do better than last year.

3. Write a thousand words a day. Ha! Even when I spend a full day writing, this just isn’t my style. There are days I reach over a thousand and then days I only hit 500. And (gasp) there are days I don’t write at all. Sometimes I just have to step away, take a break, maybe have a few wacky life experiences to fuel my creativity. So, instead of forcing myself to write a certain number of words a day, my goal is to have my second novel finished (and by finished, I mean fully edited, revised and proofread) by the end of the year.

And for those of you who recall the challenge I placed before myself at the November, I have an update. My goal was to have the first draft of my current WIP revised and ready to be chewed apart by beta readers at the end of the month. This month. Well, I failed. And here is my excuse: the holidays. See, this is what I was doing instead:

Making chocolate. It was really easy. I found the recipe on Oh She Glows and just had to try it myself–only 4 ingredients, about 5 minutes for melting/combing, and then a little freezer time. They were super yummy.


Homemade chocolate!

I saw this snowman on Pinterest and just had to do it. Here is the blog link.


We made these wreath ornaments to hand out as gifts. They were really easy once you find the mini wreath forms. The tutorial is here.


This is one my husband made. He’s so crafty 🙂

Lastly, I made this woodland scene advent calendar for my husband. Under each item was a treat or an activity to do together. The blog link for this is here.


Check out the narwhal in the lake. They really live in the ocean, but I was taking creative liberties.

Now, I did get some work done on the novel and it’s going a little more quickly than I first imagined. So, my new goal is to have it ready mid-January.

4. Journal every day. I tried this last year, even giving the two-sentence journal a shot. I think my last entry was in the end of March. So, I saw this on Pinterest and decided to make one. Here is the link to the tutorial.



It’s a calendar, with an index card for every day of the year. You pull out the card for the current day, write the year and then a sentence or two about what happened. My husband and I started the day after Christmas, sharing the responsibility for jotting down something witty and memorable. As the years go by, the cards will fill up and you get to reminisce while you journal. I this will be more doable since it is a shared duty and it’s on the coffee table staring at me every night, making me feel guilty.

So that’s it. I could resolve to eat better, but my husband would probably die from laughter. I just discovered you can wrap almost anything in moist bread and deep fry it–no batter required. The possibilities are endless…


I know it sounds weird. I found a recipe for Indian Bread Rolls stuffed with potatoes on Veg Recipes of India and it was amazing. Then I started thinking of all the other mixtures that could be wrapped in bread and fried. Here are a couple of pics from the Veg Recipes of India website showing the bread rolls being made and what they look like after being fried.


Image courtesy Veg Recipes of India.


Image courtesy Veg Recipes of India.


Happy New Year everyone!!

Libby’s Post: Meeting Camden Scott

Brian parked his BMW in front of the single story nursing home.

Nerdo Vamp opened his door first, letting the cool, damp air in. “I think it would be best if just Libby and I went in.”

Brian nodded and turned the car off.

nursing home

Image courtesy Sara Star NS via Flickr.

“She works at a nursing home?” I whispered, trying not to look too closely at the residents gathered in the dining hall. They were so gray and fragile and worn. Their skin, their hair, their clothes, everything about them looked tired.

“I do believe Ms. Scott has a fondness for the elderly, if I remember correctly.” Nerdo Vamp turned his attention to the bubble-gum chewing, twenty year old manning the front desk. “Come, let’s check in.”

“Name,” the girl said without taking her eyes from her phone.

Nerdo Vamp laced his fingers behind his back. “This is Libby and I’m–”

“No, not your name. Who are you here to see?” The girl set the phone down and smiled sweetly. But the smile was fake. I would know. I’ve used that smile to get more than a few free martinis.

“Ah, yes. We are friends of Camden Scott. We’d like to surprise her, for her birthday.” Nerdo Vamp adjusted his glasses and tried to smile sweetly. Also fake, but not nearly as good as the gum chewer’s.


Image courtesy Ebelien via Flickr.

The girl’s eyes became huge. She tore down the “Tranquility of Nature” calendar that was hanging on the bulletin board to her right. “I didn’t know it was Camden’s birthday. I’m in charge of birthdays. Shit. I mean damn. I mean phooey. Whatever old people say.”

Nerdo Vamp cleared his throat. “Not to worry, Miss. I know Camden is quite private about her birthday. She wouldn’t want a big affair in her honor, just cocktails with a couple of her dear friends.”

“Should I at least get a cake? Cookies? No, not cookies. No sweets. Camden doesn’t eat sweets, except that weird cake she brought in for Easter.” The girl pretended to gag. “It was awful. Oh, what was it? Something with an S.”

“I believe what you are referring to is Simnel cake, a type of fruit cake.”

The girl nodded and puckered her face. “It definitely had fruit. Blech. I’ll be sticking with Peeps and Cadbury Eggs next year.”


Image courtesy Kate Ter Haar via Flickr.

“Well there’s no accounting for taste.” Nerdo Vamp smiled again. “Now if you don’t mind directing us to where we might find Camden.”

“Yeah, sure. Her office is down the hall, that way, on the right. Her name’s on the door.” The girl picked her phone up and turned away.

We passed the dining hall and stopped when we saw her name: “Camden Scott, Volunteer Coordinator.” Nerdo Vamp gave the door two hard knocks.

“Come in,” a cheerful voice responded.

Nerdo Vamp pushed the door open, revealing a woman in a black suit I recognized straight from an Ann Taylor catalog. Her reddish-brown hair was in a loose bun, dark framed glasses highlighted her green eyes. I wondered if the glasses were just to make her look smart. I tried the fake glasses thing once, but ended up getting less free martinis.

The woman rose and held her hand out. “Hi Libby. I’m Camden and I’m so glad you’ve found me.” Her gaze shifted to Nerdo Vamp. She looked him up and down, with her eyebrows raised, before turning back to me. “We have a lot of work to do and not a lot of time. How long has it been since you last spoke to the man who turned you?”

I fidgeted with my ponytail. “Uh, never. I’ve never spoken to him. I just woke up one afternoon, with a killer headache and a crazy note.”

Camden rolled her eyes. “Figures. Colin can be such an ass sometimes.”

“Excuse me, Camden. What exactly is it that you want from Libby?” Nerdo Vamp asked.

She removed her purse from the bottom desk drawer and nodded toward the door. “The question isn’t what I want from Libby. It’s what can I do for Libby.” She closed the door behind us. “I understand you have a little problem with Erasmus.”

I nodded. “Little is one way to put it.”

Dragon’s Loyalty Award

dragons-loyalty-awardI am very excited to announce that I have been nominated for the Dragon’s Loyalty award by Sophie Sabina Creations. Thanks Sophie! I’m flattered you would think of me for such an awesome award 🙂

To accept, I must list 7 things about myself and then nominate other bloggers for the award.

First, my 7 things…

1. The first meals I learned to cook were fried eggs and boxed macaroni and cheese. I subsisted off these delicacies until after college, when I discovered the vegetable.


I still love my junk food, but somehow manage to eat a couple of these every now and then… usually when my husband cooks. (Image courtesy Jeremy Keith via Flickr.)

2. In elementary and middle school, I was obsessed with the Sweet Valley High books. There were about a bazillion of these books published and up until I read the full list books posted on Snark Valley’s blog, I thought I’d read a good chunk of them. Clicking my way down the list, was a short trip down memory lane that began with Double Love and ended with On the Edge. I was so in love with the series, I had the board game and forced my mother to play it with me.

Double love

Meet the Wakefield twins: Elizabeth and Jessica. They are both a perfect size 6, with perfect blond hair and perfectly blue eyes. And everything is usually perfect in Sweet Valley, or at least at the end of the book it is.

On the edge

I think Regina is sad because she has brown hair, unlike the perfect Wakefield twins.

SVH board game

When my mom and I played I’m pretty sure I made her be the “nerd” and I probably cheated. I don’t think it was her favorite game. But I do still wonder, did they all find their boyfriends in time for the big date???

3. I knew my husband was “the one” when he hula hooped on our first date.

Jen’s Criteria for “the one”

1. Likes to share food at restaurants

2. Likes to share food at home

3. Always likes to share his food

4. Lets the cat sit on his lap until his bladder is bursting, because he doesn’t want to disturb him. Aw… so cute.

5. Uses the fact that the cat is on his lap to make me his waitress: “I can’t reach my water glass. Where is my phone? Will you bring me an Oreo?” Uh… not as cute.

6. Doesn’t fart in front of me on the first date. Inevitably, this will happen. And it will happen more and more as the relationship continues.

7. Listens intently to every word I say on the first date. Inevitably, this stops happening. And it will happen less and less as the relationship continues.

8. Is willing to partake in activities he’s not very good at, such as hula hooping.

9. Is willing to partake in activities I’m not very good at, such as cleaning, doing laundry and making dinner.

4. I college, I took a snowball to the face and ended up on the cover of the college newspaper–my parents were so proud. If I were more organized (and less lazy), I would unearth one of the papers from my basement and post a pic. But let’s be honest. That’s not going to happen, so you’ll just have use your imagination. Here, I’ll give you a little help.

Jennifer Windram

Imagine me, only about 15 years younger and without a packet of Denny’s sugar.

girl snowball

Dressed all warm, like this little cutie. (Image courtesy Bill Johnston via Flickr.)


Being attacked by a guy much more vicious than this little guy. (Image courtesy Anthony Crider via Flickr.)

giant snowball

With a snowball only slightly smaller than this one. (Image courtesy Russell Trow via Flickr.)

snowball face

And being hit right in the face, like this… (Image courtesy Robert Wiegmann via Flickr.)

5. Most people book a hotel based on price, location or amenities. I look for animals.

Logan Windram Savannah

Is there a resident cat or dog?

Jennifer Windram

How about a couple of goats to feed?


One of my favorites was this place with its “wild” bunnies.

Jenny bunny feeding

Tons of bunnies roamed the property and ate bread from your hand.

Logan Windram

6. My husband and I decorated sugar cookies Sunday night. Monday I spent the day eating leftover frosting directly from the tub. I’m working under the notion that there is no use in letting it go to waste.


Today, I stopped the charade and am eating the cookies–with extra frosting on top.

7. One Christmas I was either hungry, or curious, and took a bite from a fruit shaped ornament, like this one.


I remember it being a little dry.

Now, for my nominees:

The Library Lady and Rosie Bear

It Goes On

Oldest Daughter and Red Headed Sister

Lindsay Cummings Writes

About the Rest

Trials of a Wanna-be-Published Writer

Odyssey of a Novice Writer