Friday, September 28, 2012

How Christian Music Uplifts Me

Seven years ago, I did the unthinkable.

I set the radio station to SmileFM and left it there.

Yeah. Me. Miss Christian-music-isn't-cool (even though I am a Christian--wow, what an ego I had!).

Shortly after I tuned into this fresh, upbeat, very contemporary music, more things started clicking with me and my faith. I've been a lifelong Christian, but I never utilized all of the amazing tools so readily available.

I started shopping at Christian bookstores. Buying devotionals. Slipping inspirational cards into my kids' lunch boxes.

I started having afternoon tea with God. Reading a chapter of the Bible every morning along with a short devotional by Max Lucado.

I started fretting less, and feeling good even when I had to make difficult decisions based on my faith.

Basically, the more I let God into my life, the more He changed me to be a godly woman. Don't get me wrong, by godly I don't mean perfect! I'm about as imperfect as they come! But God extends His grace to me every day and helps me do His will.

Even when I get too busy and "forget" to have afternoon tea with God or stop letting the radio station linger on Christian stations, God finds ways to bring me back.

I've been reading Married for Real by Eddie and Tamara George. In it, Eddie shares his journey in becoming a top running back in the NFL. It was not an easy road, and he had several periods of almost non-activity in his career--yet, he never gave up or even slacked off on his training. He attributed it to God and his strong faith. He shared a song he listened to every night, "Could You Believe," by Al Jarreau. I downloaded it. When I hear this beautiful melody, heartfelt lyrics, and Al's passionate voice, I want to shake my fist in the air and yell, "Yes! I, too, can believe!"

Christian music uplifts me. Every time.

If you find yourself feeling a little lost or overly busy or confused or just depressed, go ahead and listen to Al Jarreau's song. We all can believe.

What music uplifts you? Do you have a go-to song?

Enjoy your weekend!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Celebrity Reports: ACFW 2012

I recently returned from the 2012 ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) conference. Many of you know I LOVE magazines, so while I was there, I couldn't help thinking the conference was a celebrity event. No, Jennifer Aniston wasn't there. Nor was Denzel Washington or Sandra Bullock. These stars are small fries compared to the big potatoes I saw!



Only the BIG celebrities were at ACFW, and I got to meet many of them!

First up, the shuttle from the airport to the hotel. Who did I ride with? None other than the super cool Amy Clipston! Amy writes Amish and contemporary Christian fiction, and she was so friendly and welcoming, I couldn't believe my trip had started on such a high note!

Within minutes, I'd shoved my junk into my hotel room (see the stellar view from our room below) and sprinted back down to the lobby. I did not want to miss my two superstars arrive--Cynthia Herron, my fab roomie, and Jessica Patch, my dear friend. But before they showed up, I met Jennifer Fromke!! Jennifer writes women's fiction AND she's familiar with mid-Michigan where I grew up. It's always fun to use the words "tractor pull" and "demolition derby" in a sentence and have someone nodding in complete understanding. :)



I can't even begin to tell you how many friends I finally was able to meet in person. I just started writing them out and had to come back and delete because I realized this post would be forty-five pages long! Before I continue, though, I have to say I've been beyond blessed to deepen my friendships with both Cynthia Herron and Jessica R. Patch. These women are genuine, honest, and classy. I'm honored to know them.



It's funny how certain people have an automatic "buzz" around them. People clamor for their attention. We get excited and elbow each other when they're near. Who are these people? Every agent, editor, and best-selling author there! If only I had pictures to show the ACFW version of  "Stars: Just Like Us."

You'd see for yourself that editors get their own coffee (shocking!) and they wait in line to buy a Diet Coke in the gift shop (what??). Agents GO TO THE BATHROOM (I know!! Who knew they had bladders?). Best-selling authors? They attend workshops! (Wow!)

While I get as star-struck as anyone, the people I completely flipped over (besides my friends) were(in the order I met them) Becky WadeLisa JordanLiz Johnson, and Judy Gann.

I'd read My Stubborn Heart over the weekend and concluded I could NEVER write as good as Becky Wade, and if I could meet her at the conference my life would certainly be complete. Well, guess what? She was in the first-timer's meeting too! I may have (definitely did) overly hugged her, but she was just awesome, which made me love her even more.

Lisa Jordan and I have been friends for a long time online, and she's always so warm and friendly that I couldn't wait to meet her. She's even more beautiful in person, and she gives the best hugs, and she even forgave me for completely blanking on life details when we first met, which I thought was very classy. Let's just say this little brain can only handle so much information in a conference full of people and it had reached its limit! Watching Lisa accept the Carol award for her short contemporary romance, Lakeside Reunion, brought tears to my eyes. Congratulations, Lisa!

Moving on to Liz Johnson. Liz and I share the same agent so I knew we'd get along great--and we did! Liz is even more down-to-earth and fantastic in person! Liz, too, was up for a Carol award. It's probably wrong to say she was robbed so I won't. :) So now I have an out-of-control girl crush on Liz, too. I might have to form a fan club or something...

One of my new favorite friends is Judy Gann. Judy is a Bookie (represented by Books & Such Literary Agency) too, and I met her on her birthday! Happy Birthday, Judy! Judy and I bumped into each other off and on throughout the conference, and I'm convinced God sent her to help me. I realize with all the exclamation points it looks as if I had the time of my life. Let me set you straight. The conference was a real challenge for me. Judy comforted and encouraged me throughout my stay, and we were able to have a nice long talk on the final day. I'm SO blessed by Judy!

There are dozens of other people who made a huge impact on me. Susan May Warren is such a special person. I know she personally touched many writers' lives over the weekend, and I'm very thankful to her. I could go on and on, but I'll save my other friends for another post.

The bottom line? The conference solidified one thing I already knew: it's not what I can take away from a conference, but who I can add to my life that makes all the difference. I'm SO blessed to have new friends.

What did you do last week? What are you doing this week? I've missed you!

Have a blessed Wednesday!



Monday, September 17, 2012

WSG 23: What Makes a Book Unique?

Writer's Survival Guide 23: What Makes a Book Unique?

I've been preparing pitches for the conference I'm attending, and one of the questions that's come up is "what makes your book unique?"


This should be easy, right? We know our books inside and out. But I'll admit, at first, it stumped me.

So I brainstormed the elements my book contains that other books I've read don't. After that, figuring out what makes my book unique became simple. I can quickly point out the "different" factor in any one of my books.

And it's always been easy for me to evaluate other books for uniqueness. Let's look at a few.

Of the three books I read and reviewed on my blog over the last few weeks, I'd like to point out what makes them unique.

Die Run Hide by PM Kavanaugh:

Character motivation. This is a woman on the run who will do anything for freedom, including betraying the man she loves. However, over the course of the book, she realizes freedom isn't worth the price she was willing to pay, and she comes up with her own plan to have both.

Fairyproof by Constance Phillips:

World-building. Constance created a world I got sucked right into--a world where fairies can influence humans but who also can return to a world only fairies occupy. What an intriguing place to reside in!

Unending Devotion by Jody Hedlund:

Setting. Set in a Michigan lumber camp in the 1880's, the setting stood out as being extremely unique. I'd love to read more books in this setting.

As you can see, each of these books was unique for a different reason. We don't have to come up with a completely new plot (I don't think it's possible, anyway!) to stand out.

What makes your current book unique? What book comes to mind when you hear the word unique?

Have a terrific day!

And the winner from Friday's giveaway?

Huge congrats to LIZ R. for winning a copy of Jody Hedlund's Unending Devotion!!

I will be at a writer's conference this week and will return to bloggin a week from Wednesday.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Secret #9: Jody Hedlund's Blog Tour!

Today I have the pleasure of hosting my dear friend, Jody Hedlund, as she continues her "Secrets" blog tour for her latest release, Unending Devotion!

Unending Devotion is an inspirational historical romance set in an 1880's Michigan lumber camp. Since I come from a long line of lumbermen and am in awe of Hartwick Pines, a massive state park in Michigan with towering white pines and a logging camp museum, I've been counting the days until Jody's latest released!

Catch all of Jody's "Secrets" on her blog tour by heading to her Events page!
 
***

Secret #9: An aspect of my personality that I've struggled to accept

By Jody Hedlund, @JodyHedlund

I confess that I'm a nit-picking neat-freak. Clutter causes me to convulse. Messes make me mope. And disorder drives me to distraction.
For as long as I can remember, I've been a tidy person. In fact, I can remember dusting the bookshelves in my bedroom as child—without being told! My handwriting was meticulous, my underwear folded, and my Barbie's hair combed.
Of course, I went through a period of time where I felt odd for being neat, and I "tried" to be messy so that I could fit in with what I perceived as the normal way of living.
But eventually, I realized that I'm special just the way I am—neat-freak and all. God made me unique. And I needed to accept and appreciate myself the way I was and not be ashamed of any part of the package that makes up who I am.

So, once again I began to dust my bookshelves. And I felt no shame. In fact, I relished the peace of having an organized and clean house.

Then I had five kids.

I became a full-time teacher to my kids.
And I delved into a career as a published author.

As much as I'd grown to appreciate the neatness aspect of my personality, I've also learned that we grow the most in character when we're stretched.

Over the years, I've learned to be flexible, patient, and to be able to work in the midst of chaos. I've had to prioritize. I've had to learn that when time is limited, relationships take precedence over fingerprints on the walls, mammoth dust-bunnies under furniture, and  crumbs lining the refrigerator shelves.
The busyness of life and the messes of living in a large family have made me into a better person—someone who can handle more stress, be more flexible, and live life with more purpose.

Sure, I've trained my kids to pick up after themselves.  We keep the house in order as best we can. I'm still a neat-freak. I haven't changed who I am.
But I've become a more mature and balanced neat-freak.

Isn't that what character growth is all about—becoming more mature and balanced in who we are?
How about you? What character quality have you found difficult to accept about yourself? Is there any trait in which you've grown or become more balanced?
 
***
 
 
Jill's review of Unending Devotion:
 
Ooo-la-la, love the premise! And the execution made me swoon!
 
I'm a huge fan of Jody Hedlund's historical romances. This one is set in 1880's Michigan around a lumber camp and all the vices that go with it. Lily, the heroine, burrowed into my heart from the first page. I found her to be so sympathetic, so heroic, but she had real feelings, real flaws, and very real problems. I also loved Connell and how he grows into the man he was meant to be--all because of the courage of Lily.
 
This book tackles heavy themes and portrays a realistic vision of the push/pull between the wealthy and the poor, one of the biggest problems of the era. The romance ribboned throughout, leaving me satisfied and smiling in the end. I also liked that not every problem gets tied up with a pretty
bow. Actions have consequences. But God's love is always with us. Excellent book!
**I received an advanced reader copy of this book with no obligation to review it. Opinions are my own--and I urge you to give this one a try!**

***
Publisher's Weekly calls Unending Devotion "A meaty tale of life amid the debauchery of the lumber camps of 1880s Michigan . . . exciting and unpredictable to the very end."

To celebrate the release of Unending Devotion, Jody is giving away a signed copy. Leave a comment (along with your email address) to enter the drawing. Valid only with US or Canadian addresses. Giveaway ends Sunday, September 16, 2012.
For more secrets about Jody and additional chances to win her newest release, visit her Events Page to see where she'll be next in her "Fun Secrets About Author Jody Hedlund" blog tour.
Also join in the Pinterest Photo Contest she's hosting. Find more information about it on her Contest Page.

Jody would love to connect with you! Find her in one of these places:
Website: http://jodyhedlund.com/




 
Thank you all for stopping by! Don't forget to leave a comment with your name and e-mail address to be entered in the giveaway. I'll be selecting a winner on Sunday (using the trusty picking-a-name-out-of-the-hat method) and announcing the winner on Monday, September 17, 2012!
 
Have a wonderful weekend!



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Healthy Family Starts with Mom

After a summer of chaotic meals while trying to survive without a kitchen, my family was more than ready to get back to healthier fare. Around here we tend to sway one way, retract, and sway back. We might briefly reach either extreme on the pendulum, whether it be too strict a diet or too over-processed a diet, but we mostly reside somewhere in the middle.

I like to encourage healthy eating, but I'm not always great on follow-through. One thing I know, though, is my family follows my example. Since I do the grocery shopping and plan and cook the meals, I have more influence over our diet than anyone else.

Maybe you don't worry about your kids eating too many cupcakes and not enough fruit, but I do!

Here are some of the strategies I use to encourage healthy living in our house.

1. We talk about it.

No foods are ever off-limits in our house. I routinely buy chips, cookies, and sugary drinks; however, I also buy an array of fruit, vegetables, and whole grain foods. My kids are way beyond the toddler stage--they can make their own snack choices. But you can bet I remind and teach them about making smart decisions.

2. Make a list of appropriate "anytime" snacks.

I made a list of healthy snack foods. These are foods you can basically eat anytime. With two growing, very active kids, I don't want to be the food police. These choices are always acceptable in my house.

- any fruit
- nuts or seeds
- cut-up vegetables
- yogurt
- string cheese
- salad
- peanut butter with crackers/apple/etc...

3. Discuss proper portion sizes.

Sometimes kids just don't realize what a portion size looks like. Hey, I don't even know a lot of times! We read labels and watch shows like The Biggest Loser. We all find it inspiring to watch contestants take charge of their lives, and the trainers do a great job of showing what healthy foods and portion sizes look like.

4. Limit empty calories.

We set limits on junk food. You're thirsty? Have some water. You already had cookies? It's time to pick a snack from the above list. Sure, kids don't always like this, but they will thank me when they're older and not fighting bad habits and health problems.

5. Cook most meals.

Look, I understand how hectic and busy most families with kids are. We are too, and frankly we eat more fast food during the busiest sports seasons. I don't work outside the home, so I am able to spend more time cooking. But even on days when I'm out of the house, we're able to avoid ordering a pizza by utilizing a few tricks.

* Plan your meals ahead. I plan all the week's meals on Sunday, and I shop accordingly.
* Use that crock-pot! We all love walking in the door and smelling slow-cooked beef, chicken, chili, or whatever I throw together. I only use the simplest recipes. Often, it's a matter of throwing a bag of baby carrots and a chopped onion in the pot, covering it with chicken thighs and a 1/4 cup of broth, sprinkling salt, pepper, and paprika over everything and calling it good.
* Soup and sandwiches work too.
* Make easy favorites. English muffin pizzas take less than 20 minutes to make. A big Caeser salad is simple too.

Since I control what ingredients I'm using, our meals are much healthier than anything I could buy. I substitute 2% milk for anything that calls for cream. I substitute broth for higher calorie liquids. I add vegetables and cut back on meats. You'd be amazed at how delicious food can taste with simple, calorie-saving substitutions.

6. Encourage activity.

I'm active--always have been. Even when I gain weight, I'm exercising a few days a week. Honestly, though, 2 days no longer cuts it. I'm at a point where I have to exercise 4-5 days a week to maintain my weight. The kids might not always join me, but they see me walking our dog, jogging, playing a Wii game, or doing yoga, and it inspires them to get moving. Plus, they have an image of what being an adult looks like, and it includes taking care of our bodies.

We encourage them to try out for sports, to take bike rides, and to come to the park and hike with us. It's fun!

7. We try new foods.

I've yet to meet a parent whose child has loved every item ever put on her dinner plate. We have a rule in our house--if I've cooked something unfamiliar or that they don't like, everyone has to eat a small portion of it. My kids still gag at butternut squash, but I don't think it will scar them for life to eat a tablespoon of it. Experts say it takes 13-15 tries for our taste buds to adjust to an unfamiliar food. Maybe someday the kids will love squash! Maybe not.

I think the biggest challenge is staying motivated. It's too easy to slip into buying the same old things over and over. Every time the seasons change, we work at introducing different foods into our diet.

What strategies do you use to keep your family healthy?

Have a great day!

Monday, September 10, 2012

WSG 22: Crazy Conference Emotions

Writer's Survival Guide 22: Crazy Conference Emotions

Next week, I'm attending ACFW's annual conference for the very first time! The last few years, I've watched my friends and fellow writers prepare and head to this gathering of Christian fiction writers, and my heart clenched a bit at being left behind. So, when my husband and I decided this year was my year to attend, I expected to be over-the-moon excited.


But...I felt the exact opposite.

Yeah, you can call me crazy, but my first reaction flew to worry. I worried if we'd be able to afford it. I worried the expense would force my family, yet again, to sacrifice for my writing career.

Then I got over the worry, and I learned some of my dear friends wouldn't be attending. I got a little sad. What's a conference without my critique partners? I just want to give them a big old hug, you know?

This summer my exercising habits slipped. So a new emotion hopped on board. Yeah, vanity. Did I really want people's first impression of me to be of me at my highest non-pregnancy weight? Of course not!

Hey, I know this is whiny. I get it. I don't like it either.

The last few weeks brought even more emotions. Fear at making a bad--or forgettable--impression on editors.

But all that changed.

So what happened?

I'll tell you exactly what happened. I was in the TJMaxx dressing room, trying on a dress I later described to Miss Jessica Patch as one of Mrs. Roper's cast-offs (from Three's Company), and I wanted to give up. On everything.

I couldn't find a dress for the gala. I couldn't expect editors to love my work. I couldn't lose even one pound before conference. And I couldn't believe how depressed I felt.

But, as I headed to Kohl's and gagged in the mirror at a Daisy Fuentes dress that looked fabulous on Daisy in the picture but hideous on me, I realized (and I believe this is God's grace shining through His Holy Spirit), I could find a dress for the gala. I could expect editors to love my work. I could lose one measly pound before conference. And I couldn't believe how blessed I am.

Look, conferences should be wonderful. They should leave us breathless with excitement. They should be a time for us to catch up and connect with friends and publishing professionals.

But it's normal to be jittery. It's normal to feel a full range of emotions, especially if you're like me, and have been doing this a long time. I've been through rejections, and I know nothing is a sure thing. Not a perfect pitch appointment. Not even a polished, terrific manuscript. So many things are beyond our control.

It's okay to be scared, vain, sad, worried--as long as it doesn't stop us from reaching for our dreams.

By the way, I still do not have a dress for the gala. We'll see if I can come up with something this week!

Are you going to the ACFW conference? I would LOVE to meet up with you! Let me know in the comments or send me an e-mail and I'll be sure to keep an eye out when I get there!

Have you been to a writing conference? What kinds of emotions did you deal with?

Have a terrific Monday!



Friday, September 7, 2012

Party Time with Constance Phillips!!

Our celebration week continues! Today we're celebrating the debut of Fairyproof, a paranormal romance written by Constance Phillips and published by Crescent Moon Publishing!!

I met Constance at my very first MVRWA meeting, and she made me feel right at home. Soon, we were meeting for coffee and writing every week. Back then we actually worked on our books when we met. And she wrote the bulk of Fairyproof during that time. (I loved that season of our friendship, Connie!) Those months of writing and chatting, just her and I, will always be dear to my heart.

Anyway, I'm SO proud of Constance. Let's grab some festive food and get started!

Constance loves ice cream--really, who doesn't?--so we couldn't have a party without it.



In honor of our coffee/writing sessions, I'm pouring these gorgeous cups of frothy joe for everyone!


Okay, are you settled in? Let's talk about Fairyproof!!


Fairyproof ~ When Monique finds out her brother, Kieran, is planning her future with the one fairy she wants nothing to do with, she seeks refuge in the human world. Now Kieran fears she will be the next victim in a string of murdered fairies and is determined to bring her home.

Hiding should be a breeze. She can control any human with a flirtatious smile and an attraction spell. Until, meets Daniel Elliot, the only human who’s immune to both.

A year ago, Daniel’s fiancĂ©e disappeared with the engagement ring, an Elliot family heirloom. He’s ready to move forward with his life, but his mother’s obsession with retrieving the ring makes that impossible. Then Monique walks into his office to apply for a job.

Daniel and Monique can’t deny their attraction, but will the reason he’s Fairyproof be too much to overcome?

***
I LOVED this book!! Here's my review of Fairyproof!

(I received an advanced reader copy of Fairyproof with no obligation to review it. All opinions are my own.)

Fairyproof opens with a clever concept--what happens when a fairy meets a human who doesn't yield to her charms?--and quickly evolves to a fast-paced, tension-filled story of a woman with everything to lose who risks her very way of life to be with the man she loves.

Ms. Phillips did an amazing job of keeping me on edge with the creative story twists, her world-building capabilities, and her talent of wrapping all of the elements around the tight cord of the burgeoning love between Daniel and Monique.

The first half captured me; the last half left me panting for more! I hope Fairyproof becomes a series because I didn't want to leave any of these characters behind!

Have I convinced you? If not, this trailer will!!



About Constance:


Constance Phillips lives in Ohio with her husband, two ready-to-leave-the-nest children, and four canine kids. Her perfect fantasy vacation would involve hunting Dracula across Europe with her daughter, who also digs that kind of stuff.

When she’s not writing about fairies, shifters, vamps, and guardian angels, she’s working side-by-side with her husband in their hardwood flooring business.

She’s actively involved in her local Romance Writers of America chapter (MVRWA), and the Southeast Michigan chapter of the United States Pony Club (which her son is also very active in). When not writing or enjoying the outdoors, she loves reality television or can be found at a Rick Springfield concert (just look for the pink Converse high tops). 

For more information on how to buy Fairyproof, head to Constance Phillips: A Writer's Musings.  You can also follow her on Twitter or friend her on Facebook.

***
And guess what? It's that time again. Time for the latest webisode of "... with Jill Kemerer." If you're dreading cold and flu season, this one's for you!

"Dealing with a Head Cold with Jill Kemerer"



Thanks so much for celebrating with us today!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Debut Novel Party for PM Kavanaugh!!

Guess what? Two of my best friends have debut novels coming out this week! So we are celebrating it up on my blog!! It's virtual party time all week. :)

I'm thrilled to kick-off the celebrations by presenting Die Run Hide, a fast-paced thriller, oozing with romance, written by PM Kavanaugh and published through Crimson Romance!

First, grab a cup of coffee (or tea or water!). PM is secret code for "Patrice," so from here on out, I'll be referring to Patrice. And since I happen to know she has a wee obsession with Starbucks, our  beverages will be served in lovely white and green cups. :)



Also, this party needs some chocolate in the form of an ooey-gooey bar. Go on, have a slice! They are calorie free after all.


Now that we're all snacked up, let's get to the good stuff.



I met Patrice a few years ago at my local writer's group, MVRWA. She's one of those super cool people who combines elegance and intelligence with a wicked sense of humor. She's the other half in my success team (success team has a better ring to it than accountability partners!). It came as no surprise to me when she called to tell me Crimson Romance wanted to publish her book. I had the pleasure to read Die Run Hide, and let me tell you, it rocks!!



Die Run Hide

Follow orders or die. Anika Washington knows the rules laid down by the counterterrorist agency that owns her. When she aborts a mission in order to spare a young girl, she’s given an ultimatum: take on a new mission that requires betraying her fellow operative, and lover, or forfeit her own life.

After discovering that her lover, Gianni, has chosen another, Anika accepts the mission. In the aftermath, she learns that Gianni was faithful to her and she’d been tricked into thinking otherwise. The knowledge comes too late and she’s almost killed in an agency double-cross.

Now she must run—battling time, former enemies and the agency itself to stay alive and save the man she loves.

Now that you know what the book is about, here is my review!

(I received an advanced reader copy of this book with no obligation to review it. All opinions are my own.)

Jill's review:

Buckle up! This fast-paced thriller had me on edge from the first sentence to the very end. I couldn't put it down! Indeed, I read it in one sitting--it's THAT good.

Set in the near future, Anika is a federal operative, but not by choice. She's trying to escape a life of no privacy, forced dangerous missions, and few choices. But her love of fellow operative, Gianni, threatens everything, and she makes a desperate decision that forces her on the run. Along the way, she learns the freedom she yearns for means nothing unless she's with her heart's desire.

I loved this book. Each action-packed, emotional chapter had me guessing, and I love guessing. Who can she trust? How will she react? Can she escape? Will she get what she longs for? And as the plot progressed to the end, I was left with a deep satisfaction and my own longing--for a sequel!
If you enjoy the Jason Bourne series or Mr. and Mrs. Smith, you'll love this book!

***
About PM Kavanaugh ~
A writer of thrillers spiked with romance, PM Kavanaugh has always loved intrigue, danger and adventure, especially when observed at a safe distance from her own life. She shares her home, dreams and some of her plotting dilemmas with her clever-enough-to-be-a-spy husband and her talkative office cat, Max.
Die Run Hide is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers! Head to PM Kavanaugh: Thrillers Spiked with Romance for more information!

Thanks so much for celebrating with us today!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day!

It's Labor Day! Soon the weather will cool, and we'll head to the apple orchard for homemade donuts, cider, and some apple pickin'. But first we say goodbye to summer by lounging around and being lazy on Labor Day. :)


For all my American friends--wishing you a relaxing day! For everyone else--I'm wishing YOU a relaxing day too. :)

Happy Labor Day!!