Thrifty Thursday—a new-to-me chandelier

I'm in the process of redecorating the master bedroom, which needs pretty much everything, including a new light fixture. I've always wanted a chandelier so I've been shopping for a secondhand one. Look what I found, and for only $25!

Originally it was a ghastly shade of dark mottled turquoise but the previous owner painted it a nice fresh white. The bedroom walls will be painted light aqua and the ceiling light ivory, so I'm considering repainting the chandelier aqua as well, maybe a couple of shades darker than the walls.

I'll post some more photos when it's finished.

Until next time,



Tuesday News—the first of 2012!

I tend not to make New Years resolutions because my enthusiasm for them always starts to wane by mid January. Instead I set yearly goals for myself. On this year's list:

  • write and submit books two & three in the Ready Set Sold series
  • submit the proposal for my next three-book series
  • train for a 10K race this spring (I'll be walking, not running!)
  • enlist the family's help to clear out the basement
  • plan a trip to Europe (this has been a lifelong dream)

What about you? Do you make resolutions or set goals? Either way, here's to a happy, productive and prosperous 2012!

Until next time,


How could I resist...

...this perfect pair of half-price polka dot mugs?

I couldn't! They're just right for my morning coffee and afternoon green tea.

And so cheerful, don't you think?

I love them!

Until next time,


Happy New Year!

With two new books, two foreign sales, a new two-book contract, a trip to New York!...2011 has been an amazing year for me. Now I'm looking forward to 2012, and I hope you are, too. Here's wishing you all the health, happiness and inner peace you need to achieve your dreams.

Until next time,


Klimpit (Finnish Dumplings)

Looking for a quick, easy and delicious way to turn a pot of soup into a piping hot bowl of comfort food? Add dumplings!


1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Beat the egg, add oil and milk, stir in the flour and salt, and mix until the batter is smooth. Drop by spoonfuls into boiling soup. Simmer until the dumplings rise to the top. Serve!

Until next time,


What's for Dinner?

White Beans Provence—one of my family's favorite bean dishes that also happens to be easy, delicious and healthy!

White Beans Provence

1 tablespooon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup celery, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 cups navy beans, cooked (*see below)
1 cup stock, vegetable or chicken
1 teaspoon herbes de provence (or substitute thyme)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium-sized skillet, heat the olive oil and saute the onion, celery and garlic till soft and transluscent. Add the remaining ingredients, except the parsely, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add parsley, salt and pepper, simmer uncovered for another five minutes, and voila!

*I use dried organic beans because almost all prepared beans come in cans lined with a substance containing Bisphenol A (BPA), a known carginogen. And I'm here to tell you that cooking with dried beans is easy! To get two cups of cooked navy beans, start with one cup of dried. Soak them in three cups of water for twelve hours, drain and rinse, put them in a pot with three times as much water, and cook for 30 minutes. Getting to this point requires virtually no work by the cook. For example, while the beans soak you can be doing something else, like sleeping!

White Beans Provence makes a great side dish, or it can be served as a main with a nice crisp salad on the side. And this is what's for dinner at my house tonight.

Until next time,


Tuesday News—More Books!

I am thrilled to say I talked to my editor yesteray and accepted a two-book contract for books two and three of the Ready Set Sold series! The Christmas Secret is available now, and The Daddy Project and Daddy Unexpectedly (working titles) will follow (publication dates TBA).

Last week a little package arrived with three copies of my first foreign translation. The Wedding Bargain has been translated into Spanish and was released in Spain as Una gran oportunidad. The Wedding Bargain was also released in Australia and New Zealand last June, but the Spanish edition is the first of my books to be translated into a foreign language.

On Friday I did a book signing at Save On Foods in Nanaimo, and I autographed and sold fourteen copies of The Christmas Secret. Wow! Thank you so much to all who came out and supported me!

Until next time,


Sunday Fun—Calling All Knitters

New Zealand penguins are in need of sweaters to protect them from an oil spill. How cute are these?

Click here to read the whole story and find out how you can help.

Until next time,

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