Sunday, July 24, 2016

Chewy Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies -- No Bake


Looking for a great recipe that is semi-healthy (for a cookie), tastes great, and easy to make? Well, these treats are awesome. They are chocolatey, chewy, no bake cookies that will make it hard to eat just one, and they can be made so quickly! Makes about 30 cookies!

Ingredients: 

8 tbsp. butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups quick 1 minute oats (add 1/2 cup extra 
if you like cookies less chewy and more firm) 
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

Melt butter, milk, cocoa powder, and sugar in a pot 
on the stove at medium to high heat.
Stir thoroughly for about two minutes, or until mixture is smooth.
Remove from heat and add oats and vanilla.
Stir until everything is mixed well.
Form into 1 inch rounds with ice cream scoop. 
Drop on a pan with wax paper or silver foil. 
Let chill in the fridge for one hour.

                                                                               Enjoy the snack!
                                                                                         Therese

Sunday, July 17, 2016

On the Road to a Book

 

As I prepare for publishing my second book, I remember again how much I love the self-publishing process. Writers love being creative in their stories, and I feel that putting the rest of it together is just as fun and creative. 

My books are published through createspace.com, an affiliate of Amazon, which are then listed on their website for free. No cost at all to the writer, except when your book sells, you split profits with Amazon.

Some may say it's way too much work, or they would rather just have the glory of being picked up by a traditional publishing house. Not me. I love to know that when that book is for sale, I did everything that is involved in making that happen. Of course, I ask lots of advice and feedback from people along the way. 

The idea making, writing, editing (multiple times), proof reading, formatting, cover designing, marketing, etc, is all directly my day-to-day work of being a writer. I mean, who knows your book better than yourself? Plus, you retain all the rights to your book. No fighting with publishing houses to keep your book in print when it's no longer selling. No having to see your story chopped up when the publisher wants to go in a different direction. No waiting to even see if they will accept your manuscript.  

Self-publishing through CreateSpace gave me the chance of being an author. Times are changing. Authors are revolutionizing what it means to self-publish. Some self-published books, I admit, can really be pretty lousy. At the same time, there are lots of self-published books that have been way better than lots of traditionally published books. There are a bunch of success stories of self-published authors as well. 

And there is nothing like holding that finished copy of your book in your hands, knowing it's yours and you created it from start to finish. I highly recommend self-publishing. You really are creating your whole book! And if that seems a daunting task, there are so many helps on CreateSpace through the forums, as well as professional services available such as editing and cover designing if you want to go that route. 

At the end of the day, that story is your story, and everyone has a unique way of telling one in their own way. If I can do it, so can you. All you need is an idea, and you can write a book. The key to writing a good book is characters that readers can connect with, a plot that moves and keeps you guessing, and an ending that leaves you satisfied.

                                                                           Write that great story, 
                                                                                              Therese

P.S. My mystery novel is nearing completion and needs lots of editing. Then it's just putting it all together! Should be available mid to late August. :) 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Finding Dory


I went into this film having low expectations. The last Pixar films I saw in theaters were Up and Wall-E, both of which I thought were flops. The only thing I took away from those movies was "save the animals" and "go green." I liked the first Finding Nemo, but I figured oftentimes sequels are not very good, and it's been 13 years since the first one came out. 

Guess what? I was pleasantly surprised at how good Finding Dory was. I found myself laughing through the whole movie. It was really lighthearted and sweet, and not always a super predictable plot.

Characters. My favorite character was definitely Hank. He was sarcastic and clever, always helping Dory without wanting to. He couldn't help himself. He camouflaged everywhere which was amusing, especially when he turned into things like plants, hoses, and random everyday things. Almost all his lines were funny in some way.

Favorite lines. One for sure was when Dory fell into the touch pool and said she's looking for Hank, and one of the creatures said "Hands," but Dory kept saying "No, Hank, like with a k." Then the hands of the children just plummeted into the pool and tried to touch Dory and Hank. Then Dory and Hank went toward a narrow crevasse, and the sea creatures kept telling them to "turn back, turn back," like a point of no return. Funny scene. 

Plot. I thought it was a good story line. Dory sets out on an adventure to find her parents and ends up in a marine center in the company of Hank, the septapus. I liked watching how Dory, Nemo, and Marlin kept moving from one situation to another, always trying to figure out what to do next traveling through the marine place.

I also loved the short in the beginning of the film. The cgi's are really impressive as the ocean and the birds actually look real. It's really cute and lighthearted. I'm not a bird person, and I thought it was really good.

And don't forget those otters. They were adorable, I have to say. Overall, good plot, good characters, and good laughs. Definitely a film enjoyable for children and adults!

One more quote, Dory to Hank: "For a guy with three hearts, you're not very nice."
                                                                                 ~Therese

Monday, July 4, 2016

Celebrating Independence


Happy Independence Day!! I was thinking about all the things I could write about for Independence Day, and there's so many things to consider. 

First, we should be grateful. Grateful for our country and its freedoms. Even though it has been abused and some freedoms even considered lost, we still live in a free nation. We do not suffer from what so many other countries experience. We have so many freedoms and privileges that some people only dream about. And who do we owe this to?

Our soldiers. Those who have defended our freedom, protected it against threats, and continue to be on guard against future attacks on our country. 4th of July often makes us think only of the founding of our country or the war specifically for Independence. But, Independence Day is the day to remember all our victories, all our soldiers who have fought in so many wars, and all their families who must continue on. Independence Day is the day to celebrate all our nation's achievements. Because without that original day in 1776, we wouldn't have any of those accomplishments to celebrate. 

We should also consider the true meaning of independence. Because even if we didn't have all that, even if those freedoms were taken away, the ultimate independence is freedom from sin. If we have that life of grace, that union with God, even if we were to suffer the loss of that physical independence and the freedom to live as we should, no one and nothing can take away our freedom as children of God, except for sin. True freedom is that peace of sharing in the life of the Trinity, and that is the independence we should be most conscious of guarding. 

Let's celebrate our nation's holiday and really pray for our country that it may return to its full glory and truly be one nation under God. We hear so much about how our nation is failing and falling so far from what it should be. That is true. Our country allows a lot of evils.

However, we cannot forget true patriotism and loyalty to our country. We must be proud of being American, even though our nation is flawed. Because inevitably it always will have some flaws as an earthly authority does. Yet, our country is made up of many heroes, and those are who we should celebrate.

On a final note, let us long for our heavenly city, where true peace and happiness always reigns. Enjoy the Independence Day and have a wonderful time with your family on this special holiday! 
                                                                                  Happy 4th, 
                                                                                    Therese

P.S. Don't forget to support our Troops!! Even if you can't monetarily help out, send them letters!!