Monthly Archives: June 2013

Summer is halfway over

When I got up this morning I said out loud that I hope to get some writing done. My grandmother heard what I said replied, the summer is almost over. I had to stop and think for a few minutes, she’s right, it’s the last day of June. I have at least a month and a half before I start another semester of college. I have two more semesters left until I received my Associates degree, then start working on my Bachelor’s.

I wanted to get some writing done this summer, but it turned out that didn’t happen…so far anyway. I have been kept busy working with my publisher on the final approval of my book, working with the illustrator on the final draft of the illustrations. I had sent my book back twice due to a misspelled word and to also correct some illustrations. I then began working with my marketing manager on ordering my book for my personal use, and not to mention promotional items such as posters, book marks, and business cards. Fixing up my personal business cards took me at least an hour. I was picky on how they should look. I went through several styles, then went through several fonts and coloring of the font, then should I add a picture, should I add my phone number. It was hard to make up my mind, but I finally came up with something that I truly liked.

Then I needed to prepare for upcoming events events (please check my upcoming events and book signings), do I have a table, who’s going to sit with me and help me with my events, what should I bring, all these questions needed answers and quick. I also began to promote my work, emailing everyone in my contacts about my book coming out. I became a member of the Bryant Chamber of Commerce, which is a huge way of promoting my work. I talked to the ladies in the office for at least a half hour on setting up a booth for local events, getting published, other authors in town, and adding myself to their website.

You can say that I’m finding out myself that there’s a lot of work involved to being an author. Not only do you take the time to sit down and write a manuscript then turn it in to a publisher, you also have to find the time to go out and promote your work. That is the most important part. Though I’m only promoting myself locally and through social media, my marketing manager helps promote my work through bookstores and news media. All and all it’s a busy process.

I also have been kept busy with my daughter who has three therapist that see her almost every day. It also turns out that my daughter may have Autism, she has many signs of Autism and has been working with a couple of therapist who specialize in that area. I’m truly blessed to work with them as well, as I learn how to react to my daughter’s meltdowns and also how to work with her on other things. Just working with my daughter daily keeps me busy in itself that I find it hard to take time to do anything else. I don’t put her in daycare during the summer because I want to spend time with her. There’s always so much to do during the summer.

This coming Thursday is the 4th of July and I haven’t even looked to see what festivities there’s going to be here in town. Usually I already know and have made plans, but this year it seems to have sprung up on me quickly. What are your plans for Independence Day?


The wonderful imagination of a child

I woke up with my daughter, a dinosaur, an airplane, a zebra, and a giraffe in my bed this morning. It sounds like a one liner a person would say when they’ve had a wild and crazy night. Or an awesome night spent in the Smithsonian Museum, the only thing crazy in that one liner would be the bed.

In all actuality this is how most of my mornings are. Though these things aren’t life sized, they are child’s toys. I roll over to watch my daughter play with these four stuffed animals and laugh quietly. I noticed the dinosaur has somewhat of an identity crisis as it barks and licks the airplane. The airplane in turn comes to life as it says, “Ew, yucky!” back at the dinosaur. The zebra and giraffe sit by, silently watching the two converse.

This continues for a few more minutes until we get up for breakfast. I enjoy starting my mornings like this. It’s curious to know what goes on in a child’s mind. It’s great to see her imagination come to life through her toys.

Must try recipes

I do majority of the cooking here at home; that doesn’t count take out food or pizza delivery. I’m always interested in trying new things. I know how to make several things without using a recipe to guide me, but sometimes those are the items that I usually make way too many times in one month.

Grandma bought a couple recipe books that I have used a few times. One book is call Land O Lakes Recipe Collection which has quite a few great recipes that I have tried. Another book is called Classic Recipes with Old Fashioned Quaker Oats which has a lot of great recipes that I have used.

Today I made dinner (Salmon Cakes with white rice) and desert (Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp) using both of these books. It was the first time that I made apple crisp and it turned out so good that I actually went back for seconds. I mostly try to refrain from seconds, but this time I couldn’t avoid it. Both recipes are really easy to make and I’ll share them with you.

Salmon Cakes

1 can (14 3/4 ounces) pink salmon, drained, skin and bones removed

3/4 cup of Quaker Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)

1.3 cup fat-free (skim) milk

2 egg whites, lightly beaten

1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)

Combine all ingredients in medium bowl; mix well (I use my hands instead of a spoon). Let stand 5 minutes, then shape into 4-5 oval patties about 1 inch thick. Lightly spray skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Cook salmon cakes over medium heat 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown and heated through.

Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp

6 medium apples, peeled, cored, sliced

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

3/4 cup uncooked old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup cold Land O Lakes Butter (I didn’t really use Land O Lakes)

Heat oven to 375F. Place apples into ungreased 9-inch square (2 quart) baking dish.

Combine brown sugar, oats, flour, and cinnamon in medium bowl; cut in butter with pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle sugar mixture over apples. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until apples are tender and topping is golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream, if desired.

My book is now available…


Dana’s First Fish tells the story about a little girl whose mom is taking her to get her first pet. Dana has decided that she wants to get a goldfish. But where do goldfish come from? Dana and her mom go on an adventurous journey to find out!

It’s set for the age group 0-10 years. Paperbacks are $6.99, eBooks are $5.99

I want to say thank you to everyone for patiently waiting for my book to come out. It’s here, it’s finally here. Click on this link and it’ll take you to my publisher’s website, where my book is available for purchase online.

Please keep up to date with my upcoming book signing events or my next book release by checking my facebook author page:

Father’s Day

Today is a special day for some men out there in the world and to a lot of those single mom’s out there too, such as myself. Father’s Day is one of those holidays rarely celebrated in my house.

I’ve been a single mom since the day I found out I was pregnant with my daughter…that was 4 years ago. Her father hasn’t been in her life at all, so it makes it one of those holidays that we don’t pay much attention to. Though I do send out the typical hallmark card or phone call to both of my dad’s, wishing them all the best on this holiday.

The real person I really wish to spend it with just doesn’t happen to be here anymore, my grandpa. He was the greatest father a child and grandchild could ever wish for. He was a great mentor and teacher. He also had a lot of love to give and a lot of patience, even after I licked his stamp collection to the floor. Hey, I was two and it was my primary job, to lick stamps each time he took me to the post office. So, I thought I was helping out.

Happy Father’s Day to all of you Daddy’s and single Mommy’s out there!


Disney Day 3

Day three we went to Animal Kingdom. Again, we had to pay $14 to park, then took a tram into the park, dropping us off at the front entrance. My sister and brother-in-law and my daughter and I took our pictures standing in front of the big tree before separating to do our own thing.



My daughter and I went off to meet some Disney characters. We first found Donald Duck who was also near King Louie and Baloo the bear as well as Chip and Dale. Pocahontas has a spot in that area as well, but wasn’t going to show up until later. We met with Donald then decided to go find Mickey and Minnie.

After asking three different people their location we finally found them. I think it would be most helpful if Disney painted footprints on the footpaths leading toward the character locations. This would save time, frustration, and confusion. They were both inside an unmarked building. At least hang a sign on the wall saying this was where they were. Even though there was a Mickey mark on the map, it still didn’t help me find them.


We stood in line for a few minutes, snaking our way to meet the famous mice. Once my daughter got the sight of them she started shouting Mickey Mouse’s name in excitement. I had promised her for the past two days that we were going to go find Mickey, though it took us this long to find him. We started to make our way over to stand next to Mickey and Minnie, and my daughter started to cry. She loves Mickey and she is finally getting to meet him. We were able to get Mickey and Minnie’s autograph and our pictures taken and were off to find something else to do.

I started walking in the direction of the Rapids ride that I was wanting to ride, but first a stop for something cold to drink as it was really hot outside. After several minutes of waiting on my sister to come watch my daughter for me, I was off to ride the Rapid ride. I had a fast pass which helped me get through the line much quicker.

I continued snaking through the queue all the while watching the lady in front of my don a rain parka. Who goes on a wet ride on a hot day and wears a rain parka? Honestly, that’s cheating! Lol! To my surprise I was seated on the same ride as her. We rode all the way through the wild river, getting splashed here and there. I got a little wet, but it was the two people to my right that got soaked. The lady in the rain parka, didn’t even get sprinkled on, so my thought was that there was no need for it. Ah well.

I found my sister and brother-in-law and we made our way to the animal safari. I knew my daughter was going to enjoy it. We saw quite a few giraffes, her favorite, and a few elephants, rhinos, crocodiles, and hippos. We also saw at least a hundred turkey buzzards. Honestly, I’ve never seen so many turkey buzzards in one location in my life.


We finished the Animal Kingdom with a stop for lunch at the Rainforest Cafe, where we each got a military discount on our meals. The food was so good, the atmosphere was wonderful, and most of all my daughter was enjoying herself.

Next stop was Epcot. Since we had already paid $14 to park at the Animal Kingdom we didn’t have to pay the fee to park again at Epcot. Upon walking through the entrance there were two Disney characters standing in the shade, Daisy Duck and Goofy. Of course I had to go meet Goofy, he was my favorite! he was such a pleasure to meet and very funny to my daughter. I even got the chance to give him a big hug.


Once again my sister and brother-in-law parted my company, leaving me to find something for me and my daughter to do.

It had been a long, busy day and my daughter was beginning to get cranky. It was also hot and most importantly it was way past her nap time. We did manage to find the Nemo ride, which entertained her for a short while before I had to text my sister that I needed to head back to the hotel room to put my duaghter down for a nap.


If you decide to make a trip to Disney, make sure you add Animal Kingdom to the list. Go on the Animal Safari, you would enjoy it!

Surviving cancer

I want to share with you a story of a strong woman, a survivor. She wishes to spread hope to those who are battling cancer, especially Mesothelioma. She was given fifteen months to live when she was diagnosed. It has been seven years now that she has won her battle with Mesothelioma. Please click on the link and watch a video as she shares her story:

You can also find her blog here:


View from where I’m sitting

I’ve been doing a lot of ‘View From Where I’m Sitting’ pictures and posting them on my Instagram. I think I’ll start posting them here as well.

Today’s ‘View From Where I’m Sitting’


I’m sitting on the couch in my sister’s living room, watching it rain. Though I had to open the door to get a clearer picture.