What are your favorite cookies? Are they different from your favorite holiday cookie?
My sister and I love to bake. We started doing it at a young age with our mom. We got to bake side by side with her, our kid-sized bread loaves and pies going in with her grown up sized… Yes, she had mini bread loaf pans and tart tins to match her full sized ones, and that’s what we got to use. Then there were cookies and muffins and cupcakes…
As adults, we now find that baking relaxes us and brings on the nostalgia….
Which is why I love baking with the holidays.
In fact, so far, here’s what I’ve made this new recipe…
Some spicy orange bark, and some chocolate peanut butter balls round out the candy side (though I’m thinking to also make peppermint bark).
And these Swedish Oatmeal cookies whose recipe was shared with me by a former 92 year old volunteer back in the day.
Next up will be hubby’s favorite, Candy Cane Cloud.
My favorite… Pumpkin Cookies…
Or maybe the universal favorite… Peanut Butter Blossoms.
Tomorrow I’ll be baking a few of these cookies with my sister and nephew…. and prepping trays to give out to my day job peeps.
All of this?
Screams that Christmas is coming soon and gets me super exited.
So if you haven’t told me yet, what is your favorite kind cookie?
What makes it feel like the holidays for you?
Do you bake or are you on the receiving end from someone/somewhere else?
Obviously, Legendary George Strait agrees with me on this subject…
I’m fortunate. Although my family has lived miles away for years, one of my sisters has managed to make it into town during the holidays.
Part of my joy has been watching that little boy’s eyes light up with excitement and wonder. Children can find laughter and fun in practically everything. A couple years ago I got a sweater with reversible sequins that can spell out naughty or nice depending on which way you rub… The kid had a blast. His laughter was infectious. That joy….innocent.
He loves helping bake in the kitchen and was thrilled to share his Gingerbread ninjas that he’d made… In fact, he’s super excited about helping me bake my Christmas cookies this weekend.
When they went to a little group of boutique shops near their house for dinner one night and discovered the whole place had been decked out for the holidays, he was ecstatic.
His eyes wide, voice filled with wonder, he looked around and said to my sis in a hushed voice, “Mama, it’s Christmas town!”
Seeing the holidays through a Child’s eyes reminds you of the magic and how you felt before cynicism and life wore us down. Being around him reminds me constantly of all the things I love about this holiday. I think that’s why this Lady A song drew me in.
If you love this holiday, what is your favorite memory? What do you love most about this time of year?
We’re all struggling to find joy, peace, and silver linings.
Some turn inward to find that peace.
And while I definitely search internally for comfort and calm, my Christmas Joy comes with bringing it to others.
Yesterday I did a little thing. It wasn’t much, but it made a difference. I went to the Dollar Tree yesterday after work and picked up a bunch of garland, window clings, and little Santas and Elves. Today I brought them to work and we used them to decorate all of our work station cubicles, spreading a little cheer.
In my alternate universe I’m an alarm dispatcher for security companies. Not exactly a “no stress” job. We need a little Christmas there.
To watch the faces of my work peeps brighten and to see them getting excited about decorating their stations made my whole day!
And it seems I’m not the only one feeling the need to give…
Hubby called me at work to see how I felt about adopting a family in need and making Christmas special for them. We picked a single mom with 5 children between the ages of 10-2. No child should have to miss out on the magic of Christmas.
As many of my long term readers know, I’m a military brat.
We moved. A lot.
Somehow, Christmas still found it’s way into my heart and soul….so this song by the incredibly talented new(ish) artist, Ingrid Andress, really spoke to me on a deep level.
I think the first time I saw this particular gift giving idea was on Facebook… Maybe last year. I thought it was a cool idea. This year hubby and I are actually in a position (despite all the horribleness that has been 2020) to follow through…
Although I do enjoy receiving gifts, nothing makes me happier than giving to others. There’s something about the way faces light up. The joy of discovering someone cared enough to go out of their way for you. Or maybe it’s a language that tells a person….YOU ARE LOVED.
All I know is it works for me. Making others feel valued and happy makes me happy.
Maybe that’s why this Jackson 5 song has been a personal favorite of mine since my childhood.
Confession time… Although I love Christmas, I hate being cold. Thus, I hate winter. With a passion.
It was actually a big considering factor for me when I decided to move to Florida in 1999. Yes, I’ve been in cold climates. Lived in both Germany and Chicago. I’ve lived in warm ones, too… Hello Philippines.
Now, I don’t know if that particular opinion is an unpopular one or not, but we can always take a poll…
What’s your favorite season? What about holiday?
And is there anything about the holiday you love that may be considered an unpopular opinion?
*psst* My secret is that I can’t stand Love, Actually (the movie).
It makes me a heathen.
Still DON’T LIKE IT!
My most favorite thing of all? Christmas Music! One of my all time favorites is Amy Grant‘s Tender Tennessee Christmas.
Isn’t it awesome that my newest favorite group, Home Free, covered it with they talented Rachel Wammack? Take a listen and see if you don’t understand a little bit of why I’m now a dedicated Home Fry (what they call Home Free aficionados).
Does this not help to make your season bright?
Have you heard of these guys? Are you a fan? What’s your favorite Christmas song?
I grew up around music. I’d been singing most of my life. As you can see from this picture, my piano lessons (which didn’t quite take…too impatient) started early, too.
But music was the first art I was introduced to, and it’s what soothes my soul.
My passion, however, belongs to the written word. There’s something about telling a story whether by poetry or by prose that has always captivated my attention. It’s a world in which I have the patience and perseverance to study, to practice, to re-write (you know, the dread word–edit) until you have something of worth and beauty.
Although the first album I ever purchased was Michael Jackson’s Thriller (a classic, to be sure), it was Kenny Rogers who left an indelible mark on my life through his amazing voice and incredible skill at story telling.
The first song of Kenny’s that I recall hearing was The Gambler. The tale had intriguing characters, real life lessons, and a story you could actually see come alive if you closed your eyes. I. Was. In. Love.
Kenny spoke to the writer in me. He fired my imagination. He even made me look at music a bit differently. In fact, music actually features prominently in my writing style. While I can’t listen to it while I’m actually writing (I have a tendency to type whatever words I’m hearing), finding the right music before I start to write helps me effectively convey the correct mindset or emotion for my scene or characters.
For example, if I want to portray a heartless villainess? A song like this one (I’m a military brat, so you do a vet dirty, I’m gonna have issues) will put me in the right mindset to create a real bitch.
Or if I want to convey someone who’s had rough breaks in life, but has always done the right thing, but in his current crossroads, he has to play dirty to be the hero, I’d play something like this one, a personal favorite.
Or maybe the lovers are both dumbasses (because let’s be honest, that happens) and we need them to realize they’re about to lose everything, or maybe that they were never right for each other and it’s time to let go… This one fits the bill.
Or when I need to capture the heart of the relentless soul who dreams big and will find a way to make it happen…
And when my hero is headed the wrong direction and about to eff things up with the heroine because he’s so busy with the wrong things he takes her for granted? This song does it for me…
At the end of the day, it’s his poetry and lyricism that engaged the writer in me so strongly. He made you feel his songs, and they were so relatable.
In fact, in my latest release, A Way With Words, I shared several song lyrics I’d created exclusively for this release and can’t help but feel maybe his energy influenced me. Here’s a taste of one of them…
“Did you see me Through the haze of desire The passion and fire That you shared with someone else, Did you see me?
Was I stupid? To believe in promises made, The foundation we laid When I gave you my ring. Was I stupid?
Did your words mean so little You could throw me away Tell her you love her, Worship her body In the bed where we lay? Was I so easy to betray? I deserve more than this.
Will you realize That my heart can be broken I deserve more than token Lies to make me stay, I won’t look away. Will you realize?
Did your words mean so little You could throw me away Tell her you love her, Worship her body In the bed where we lay? Was I so easy to betray?
I deserve more than this. Did you lose me Or did I find my rebirth? Discover my self-worth In walking away, not looking back Yeah, I found me.
Did your words mean so little You could throw me away Tell her you love her, Worship her body In the bed where we lay? Was I so easy to betray? I deserve more than this. Yeah, I found me.”
So I owe a huge debt of gratitude for all the joy and inspiration Kenny’s music has brought me “Through the Years.” (See what I did there?) LOL!
Who inspires you? Is it music? Movies? I’d love to know…
And to close out, I think it’s only fitting I share a song he did with one of his oldest, dearest friends… It’s like they knew. And besides, he felt like an old friend to me, too. Rest in Heaven, Kenny.
I love music. For those of you who’ve been following my blog for a while, this isn’t exactly a shocker. Music often finds the words we, as everyday people, often can’t. But there are times… Moments… Of course, one of the biggest moments when we find we don’t have words are when talking about love.
We’ve all had those moments where we’ve fallen for someone who was already involved, right? Well, two seriously catchy songs came out nearly at the same time, talking about this phenomenon and how they handled it. One of them I loved. The other one? Well… Let me share the songs and see what you think.
Here’s the second song.
So the general overarching story is the same… But how each song handled it, to me, was vastly different.
The first song, while catchy, bothered me. To me, it felt a bit disrespectful of the woman, her relationship, and lacking completely in boundaries. Don’t get me wrong. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with telling someone how you feel about then. At. All. My issue comes when you go past telling the object of your affections about how you feel and disrespect her relationship, try to cajole and manipulate her into ending things. You also assume she feels the same way, and you don’t even have the guts to call her without a little liquid courage…which means she probably should take absolutely nothing you say seriously.
The other one? He notices things about the girl. He respects their friendship. He tells her all the awesome things he admires about her. He worries she’s not being treated right…and then he lays his heart on the line and basically says that if he’s stupid enough to let you go, he’ll be there waiting and hoping for his chance.
Is it just me? Am I overreacting or overthinking? Because I know I’ve always been turned off by people who’ve had no respect for my choices and my relationships, but I’ve been honored and flattered by people who’ve just wanted to express their admiration and caring. To me, there’s a huge difference.
What are your thoughts? Any songs hit you kind of funny recently? I’d love to hear about it.
Dang! It’s been a while since I’ve gotten a chance to blog and I’ve missed it!
Love isn’t limited to lovers. Lovers aren’t always in love. But everyone deserves to know someone loves them. Everyone deserves to be passionately desired at least once. And everyone deserves love bonded in friendship always.
For me, music is my favorite way to express love and/or passion.
Deana Carter does a great job of describing the unselfish love necessary to a lasting long termed relationship. The BDSM photo montage to depict it in this video? Sooo apropos.
And then there’s this one. Don’t mock; yes, it’s from Glee, but it’s an awesome sone of love, friendship, acceptance, and inclusion. And really, couldn’t we all use some of that these days?
And then there’s just that body and soul love and acceptance. John Legend sings it well here.
And Thomas Rhett, of course, does a pretty great job of showcasing what happy endings could look like.
If you’ve been a regular reader here, you know I’m passionate about my music. It goes soul deep for me. What can I say? It’s what happens when you’ve been singing almost longer than you’ve been walking.
Because of that, YouTube has become a fixture in my life. I love to check out the recommendations. So when this video crossed my iPad, I had to check it out.
So these guys, George and Ryan, are definitely outside of their preferred genre on this song. I mean, it’s in my wheelhouse, and I adore Chris Stapleton’s music. How could I resist? But for these guys? They, by their own admission, don’t know much about country, which makes it awesome the whole thing about their channel is this: Opening Minds & Broadening Horizons! Hence ‘Free Thinkers.’ And they lead by example!
I hadn’t realized there were review channels out there like this…and since watching them, I’ve checked out a few others, but these guys, by far, are the best. And even better, their introducing themselves, me, and others to all sorts of other eclectic music types.
And they’ve introduced amazing bands I’ve never heard of… Like this one! It’s kind of classical meets metal? The violinist was Lindsey Sterling-esque. And it’s got a sick beat! Pretty badass, right? Still trying to figure out how Ne Obliviscaris is pronounced.
They’ve opened my eyes to new artists like this badass British female rapper, Lady Leshurr. I mean, seriously. I have tons of respect for a woman who can go hard like she does…taking no prisoners. Poetry to a rhythm the way she throws it is pure art!
As for this one, I’m not so sure how to qualify this particular genre. Progressive rock? I truly loved this one. It reminded me of some of my favorite music back in the nineties. The lead singer of the Deftones sort of reminded me of Morrissey. Very velvety smooth with it’s seductive appeal. Loved it!
This is the last I’ll share right now… This guy? Impressed the heck out of me. With his intelligent verse and slick beats, it’s no surprise that Lute wowed me. He keeps things down to earth and does it with style.
Yup! Lots of new music and styles, and I LOVE that these guys brought them to me. I’m eternally grateful for George and Ryan aka Lost In Vegas. Thanks for feeding my music passions!
As for you guys, what new music has inspired you? Do you watch music reviews on YouTube? Any other kind of reviews? Feel free to share links in the comments.
Ok, so many of my friends here noticed my short hiatus turned out not to be so short. And yes. There were a few adventures along the way, but really, deep down, I got stuck again. I somehow found myself living one of my favorite melancholy Manilow songs…
Ok, replace “my woman” with just plain ol’ me (or my inspiration would probably be more accurate) because the other isn’t quite an accurate fit, but you’ll basically get the gist. Once again I allowed myself to get sucked into a career that drained me of some of my most valuable commodities.
And once again it was for people who didn’t even know, understand, or appreciate my personal sacrifices. But that’s in the past.
I took a new job that is not nearly as demanding of my time, nor is it as draining of all my mental capacities. So, despite some personal tragedies along the way that I’m not quite ready to talk about (too fresh), I’m finally getting back to me!
Yesterday was my first time in a long time to post something I’d been inspired to share in quite some time. 1. It was great to be inspired. 2. It was awesome to have time and energy to share. See the theme?
I even got the chance to meet up with a friend for lunch, then brainstorm and information gather from a friend I’ll be using as a resource for my next book! He helped me flesh out characters that would work with the plot line I had envisioned. It felt great!
As always, there’s a song that helped inspire and engage my creativity with this relationship. Apparently it’s from a movie. I’ve never seen it, but the undercurrents spoke to me…
So I’m sorry I’ve been away so long. Hopefully I’ve learned my lesson. I’ve missed you guys. Am I forgiven? What’s new in your worlds?
So, I've been spanked, hard! I have spanked myself hard, I have spanked others even harder! I'm now heading for a different road, one that still includes all the best bits of me, all the naughty bits, all the hot steamy bits, and plenty of spanking still to be had! But this time I'm creating characters to play out my delightful erotic fantasies, I hope you enjoy the new ride as much as the previous one...