Happy Birthday Dad!

Dad

Today is Dads 75th birthday. I was lucky enough to get to go to spend a few weeks with him. I am going to make  him peanut butter cookies and you saw yesterday what I made for his gift. If you missed it check it out here.

Dad moved to Hannibal after mom passed away. I think he has been there around 5 years. He got a nice apartment in the old Mark Twain Hotel. It is right on the river and a block from downtown. so I get to walk downtown and to the coffee shop.  We will do some walking and I will make him some new dishes I have tried.

I always look forward to these visits, but usually go in fall.  I usually go at least once or twice  a year. It is my get away place! This year I will get to go to the  4th of July festival. I want to see the frog jump contest. maybe I will find a frog. LOL.

My brother also lives here so I will get to see the nieces and nephews. My sister in law is supposed to teach me how to use my silhouette cameo.

So look for  some cool pictures coming up!

Do you have a favorite place you like to go  to get away?

A dishtowel for all occasions

 

Save It Sunday

 One of my favorite pastimes is crocheting. It is relaxing and something I can do while watching TV, riding in a vehicle, or just sitting in the gardens. I do like to keep my projects simple and small.I love granny squares and dishtowel toppers. Both of these can be made from scraps. I used to be able to do one in abut 15 minutes. I would whip them up at work on my lunch(before I retired). I actually sold these before I got married this last time. I made enough extra money to help with groceries or at Christmas I sold more and used the money to get gifts for coworkers and friends.

The dishtowel tops you can make several from one skein of yarn. The actual dishtowels I buy are only 1 to 2 dollars each. I cut the dishtowel in half, then push the thread and do a single crochet row across. Then I do double crochets  for two rows then start decreasing.. easy peasy.

I found this really cute one with BBQ grills on it and a matching potholder and decided to make this for dad for his birthday.

towel

cut

finished

I will never forget one-day mom came over with a bad of dishtowels and yarn and asked if I would make her some. she said give her a couple sell the rest. The one I had made her years before ( Halloween ones) were worn out. That is really what got me started selling them. I was making them at lunch for her and everyone in the breakroom wanted them.  It kept me busy and I never got bored LOL

I also love granny squares because you can use up the smallest scraps( no waste) and make cool stuff. like afghans and bags. I saw some cool sweaters made from them on Pinterest as well, but I haven’t gotten that adventurous.

Do you crochet or have a hobby that helps you relax?

 

 

My masterchef in the making

Romance on the menu spring 2015

 This weekend my oldest stepdaughter had her visitation with her three kids my step grandies. Stepgrandie 2 loves to cook. whenever she comes, she likes to help me in the kitchen. Friday night we made simple brownies. She is only 9 but knew how to double the ingredients to make two boxes. she also knew to get all the powder in the brownies. They were delicious. the only problem was…. she had wanted to make them fancy.  The next time I will let her to a brownie Sunday or frost them. I have lots of nice dishes to plate them on.

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Saturday she announced she wanted to make dessert again and I wasn’t in the mood. on Facebook a friend showed me some cute snack ideas made from fruits and veggies.There were apples cut like owls, banana and strawberry race cars, kiwi and grape turtles and a bell pepper octopus in ranch dressing. Wen my kids were young they liked snow on trees ( broccoli and ranch and ants on a log cream cheese on celery with raisins or carrot sticks with peanut butter and raisins. She told me whe she grows up she wants to be a MasterChef. actually she said she wants to be on the children’s Masterchef show. She will make a fine one.

My friend sent  one of bananas  that look like dolphins in a sea of grapes with a ball(grape in its mouth) I figured this would be the perfect thing for Anna to make. She made a few adjustments adding kiwi and strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream to be them sea foam. they were simple enough she could make herself..

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I think she did a fine job. It was healthy, fun for her to make, and not too expensive since we used up fruit from the fruit bowl.

Do you have any simple, healthy snacks you like to make? Do you have a MasterChef in the making?

Put on your hard hat! Why do I love V.L Locey, Sharon Moore, Christina Cole, Flossie Benton Rogers, and Cassidy Frazee’s blogs.

Write about it Wednesday

I have talked over the last few weeks about the different stages of writing. The actual writing,http://cathybrockman.com/2015/05/06/put-your-writing-hat-on/ Research http://cathybrockman.com/2015/05/13/lets-go-digging/ Alpha readershttp://cathybrockman.com/2015/05/20/5850/ editing http://cathybrockman.com/2015/06/03/5908/

Now the fun really begins. Let’s put on our carpenter hat start building a platform.

hard hat

When I first started writing, social media was so daunting and a few groups I was in encouraged you to get social media coaches. In which I did. A good social media coach teaches you the steps of building a strong platform. Just like any other platforms if the foundation isn’t strong it will collapse and you will fall on your… well, you get the idea. Of course, with this as most other things in my life, I went overboard. Where my coach said choose three or four social media sites and only work them a few hours a week, I chose as many as I could find and worked hem a few hours a day. Soon I was overwhelmed, burned out, and still not too many people knew who I was or cared( good thing since I didn’t have time to finish any books). After lots of trial and error, I finally caught on and downsized. I found a few that are easy enough for me to use and just stick with that as a base and occasionally reach out in other new areas. Usually, I find the best bet if one of those work replace one that doesn’t work with this one so you don’t get back into the habit of too many social media sites.

When should you actually begin this platform? All the sites you read and coaches encourage you to begin as soon as you start writing. I will have to agree but don’t go overboard. Recently I got overwhelmed again and began at square one.

From my experience, I suggest you do build a good website first. Choose if you will blog on it daily, weekly biweekly or what and be consistent. I also suggest you pick a day a week to do the bulk of this and pre-schedule as much as you can. I found this gives me much more writing time during the week.

Creating a good schedule is key. Put your writing first then give yourself an hour a day and do your social media then and maybe an hour to work on your blog as well. Set a timer and when it goes off walk away. My timer is my best friend( when I actually use it).

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Do posts that encourage your audience to seek your writing out. Don’t just post about your book constantly. What are your books about? Do they focus on one thing? Do they center around food or Myths? Here are five of my favorites.

Parsley Sage Rosemary and Thyme ehttp://www.sharonarthurmoore.blogspot.com/ by Sharon Moore s one of my favorites She shares all sorts of cooking tips, recipes and guest posts.She also occasionally talks about her books and I will say the cute titles and fabulous food pictures on her covers along with the bits she gives on her blog has sold me her book.

VL Locey http://thoughtsfromayodelinggoatherder.blogspot.com/ Is one of my favorite authors both M/F and M/M. Her books re a bit on the sexy side so enter this one with caution. I think I have and have read every one of her books. She has fewer posts than some of the others. She has some guest posts and news of her releases and a personal post or two about her life on her hobby farm. Also some cute duck, goose and puppy pictures from time to time!

Cassidy Frazee https://wideawakebutdreaming.wordpress.com/  is a science fiction and fantasy writer and her posts are a bit longer. She shows us her timeline on scrivener and gives some insight on the characters and how the story is progressing. I also love seeing how she uses the Scrivener Writing program.

Flossie Benton Rogers http://flossiebentonrogers.com/ I love how she has Mythic Monday. Her books center around myths and magic so she posts about the topic ( yes I am about to break down and buy the Witch Fae series! I want Demoness Dreams badly and will need to read the others first.I also love the way she does her reviews it is very interesting and unique.

and Christina Cole http://christinacoleromance.com/ Though Christina hasn’t posted in a while I loved his blog. She had a day or so a week with a favorite recipe and I loved seeing the different ways people cook some of the same meals I cook.

As you see, each one is extremely different.

You can see here how each of these authors target a specific audience.

These are a few of my favorites, I had to limit the number of blogs I actually read each day as that was another thing that was consuming too much of my writing time, but there are so many awesome blogs out there!

 

I decided under good advice to do a little work on my previous blog. In the past, my blog was full of blog tours, other author’s books, cover releases, reviews and the like. It was 99 percent other author’s and not much about my writing or myself. So the first of the year I hired someone to redesign my website for me and got a domain name and here ya go. Cathy writes Romance at cathybrockman.com was born! I cut back on my posting of other authors and keep that to mostly one day a week. If I read and review a book I think was great and want to share I post that as well, otherwise the website is now more oriented to you the reader, myself and my work.

I love to cook and organize things, garden, craft and do trash to treasure. With the way, the economy is I find that a lot of you like to find new ways to stretch the budget. So I do a food and craft post on the weekends. I hope as my actual writing progresses to get back to a free story or at least some teasers for you as well.

But a good website, schedule, and a plan is only the bottom of the platform. Then you gotta get social!

Here comes the Bride

Ro- manic Monday april 2015

Hello everyone! Man is it hot! I  really hate the heat. My asthma makes it even harder on me to get out and do anything. But I have managed to get my rose garden replaced from the remodel and a lovely flower garden and veggie garden  in place with the help of my oldest Stepdaughter. I have several small tomatoes and a pepper already growing.  But I ramble.

June is the most popular month for weddings, then August, followed by September and October.  You can find more interesting statistics here. I was a bit surprised at what I read. http://www.soundvision.com/article/wedding-statistics-in-the-united-states

When I was younger and married the first time( don’t ask)  It was the Bride’s parents responsibility to pay for the wedding. Now that  most people marrying have been married before and are older with the bride and groom split the cost. It also seems that less and less weddings are the big traditional church weddings.   My wedding between my current husband of over 10 years was my favorite. We paid for it and I did most of the work. We had it out in my back yard in my rose garden. It was just family ( though between his family and mine we had  a lot of people and  I had several friends ad coworkers.  I wore a simple pink cotton sheath, he wore khakis and a mint green button up shirt.  I served  finger food, melon and a co-worker that does cakes for a living  made my cake as a gift. My best friend does photography so I got pictures as a gift as well.

I got married  Memorial Day weekend and we decided to go to Branson for our honeymoon since I have never been.  We saw some shows, rode the ducks( big amphibious machines that go in water ( we actually went into the river) My husband wanted to hear Andy Williams so we got tickets to that as well.We went to Silver Dollar City  and I talked him to ride the roller coasters (yes I am a coaster junkie)  We had a lot of fun and it didn’t cost and arm and a leg.

This may not sound like the most romantic wedding in the world, but it suited us just fine. and from a girl that has had the fairy tale wedding and a small private wedding with only  parents and the  this was by far my favorite. I didn’t have a digital camera back then so I don’t have pictures to share.

When my daughter got married  a year ago, she came to me  and asked me for one like mine.  So we did another simple family and friends things. It wasn’t as big as mine since My  mother passed away and my brother and father moved  too far away to come.  She wanted white chocolate cupcakes instead of a cake. Her neighbors father is  a minister and he did the ceremony at his church. It was beautiful. I do happen to have some pictures of that one. Her husband’s parents paid for them to go to St Loius for their honeymoon.

Margaret and caseys parents Margaret and caseys Margeret wedding dress wedding My Grandies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Margarets wedding cupcakes

 

Margeret Casey and his parents…Bride and Groom… Margaret.. Bride Groom and special guest Daenerys  My Grandies Kira Drake and Daenerys  the cupcakes .

 

My point is that weddings are about love and romance not  about the money it costs to put into one.  It’s not the pomp and ceremony but the love behind it.  Today more and more people are without jobs or barely able to pay  bills and eat little less have a  big wedding. You can have a nice wedding  by dong it yourself and concentrate on the food instead of a lot of flowers. Pick what is most important to you, focus on that, then  find less expensive alternatives to the rest. If you want  a nice dress shop second hand or consignment stores. online clearance ( where  we found hers for only a little more than 100 dollars. Make our own cake…cupcakes are the new cakes and easier to transport and serve.  Create magic and memories not heartache and big  bills to pay off in the future.

Did you have a big fancy wedding or a small simple one? Do you have any tips on having a beautiful wedding without spending a lot of money?

 

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