NaNo Midway

Often, in years past, when I am in the thick of NaNoWriMo, I am (of course) writing a lot. I have often found that the bestsellermore I write, the more I write. Period.

Not so this year. It has been a struggle.

After a strong start on November 1, I slacked off and (OMG) didn’t write for four days.  I have never done this once, in all my years of NaNo’ing.

I recovered, fortunately. I spent a weekend writing a million (it felt like) words until I was at goal. After that, I had too much invested. If I didn’t finish, then I wasted all that free time not going to the craft shows I wanted to go to, not reading the books I wanted to read, not watching the movies I wanted to watch.

I am keeping up with my 2000 words per day goal most days, but am not writing much else. I realized that my blog was languishing last week, but it took me until today to actually do something about it!

I will finish my NaNo 2015. I will publish a book this year.

The End.

NaNoWriMo 2015 is underway

I have been participating in NaNoWriMo  since 2010 and have always finished. I signed up again this year, fully Printconfident that I would finish it, since I always have.  After all, I had a foolproof formula. I know how many words I have to write each day to make sure that I have some breathing room and finish on time. Every other year, every day, I sat down and wrote my 2000 words. Every year.  I usually finish a day ahead of time

Well, this year is different. This year, I am way behind.

What the whaaaaat?

I know. I don’t know what’s up. Of course there are things going on, things to deal with, but still.

I am making an all out effort to get caught up this weekend. If I don’t reach my word count number that I have set as the line drawn in the sand, I might be done for.

Fingers crossed.

My one word, 2016 preview

January is coming fast. The past several years I have participated in the My One Word project. In a  nutshell, you choose breathea word that ‘will inspire you all year long’. It’s sort of like making New Year’s Resolutions, but simpler. And harder.

It’s not too early to start thinking about your word. You may already know what it is! A word may have sprung to mind the moment you read the phrase. If so, great. Go with it. Trust your gut. Otherwise, you can start paying attention. A word may present itself to you over and over, and then you will know. Yes. Yes, that’s my one word.

This year, my one word is Brave. I have to say that I have pushed myself to try things and go places that I never would have if I wasn’t being brave. Looking back, I am truly amazed! And there are still more than two months left to 2015!

You can keep your one word private, or you can tell some friends. I will say that having told my friend Sheila this year, she reminded me (when I needed to be reminded-you know, whenever I was trying to talk myself out of doing that hard thing? She reminded me I was Being Brave this year, so I had to do it).

If you choose a popular word, like BREATHE (this is NOT going to be my word for 2016; just an example!), you can find plenty of things to keep around you to remind you after January comes and goes that you are doing this.

Need some help choosing your word? Go to pick your word.

Bonus from tidying up food

img_7029So, I did save $150 that first week by not buying groceries, and then $75 the next week.  I have rediscovered coupons!

Also, I invented a recipe using some of the stuff I had in the house when I was saving $150 by not eating out or food shopping this week: Naan Pizza.


  •  One piece of Naan Bread for each person eating; this recipe makes individual pizzas
  • Tomato sauce of any kind (or green pesto or red pesto or whatever you find in your pantry or freezer)
  • Mozzarella (block, shredded, slices)-I ALWAYS have mozzarella in some form in my fridge or freezer. You could also use provolone or whatever cheese you have
  • Grated parmesan: sprinkle on top of sauce and under mozzarella. If you don’t have it, leave it out. We ALWAYS have it. Hey, we’re Italian. What can I say?

Apart from that, you can snip some basil from the garden over it if you have it, or use dried oregano and or dried basil. You can top it further with anything you have on hand that you like on a pizza (bacon, any nearing-the-end-of-its-life cold cuts or veggies).

Throw it in to the oven at 400-425 degrees for 8-12 minutes, depending on how burned (or not!) you like you pizza.

If you want to eat it like a Neapolitan, just fold it in half or into quarters and mangia!

Buon Appetito!


Tidying up food, continued

pantrySome of the side benefits that have come from my Tidying Up Food project:

  1. I have straightened up my pantry.
  2. I know exactly what I have for food in my house right now.
  3. I did not go buy another bottle of (whatever, insert food item here) because I knew I had one already on the top shelf of the panty, in the way back part that I need to stand on a chair to see.
  4. I no longer have any expired food in my house.
  5. I will have less food to organize when I get to that part in the The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo book!

Uh oh; I just thought of something…what if there IS no food section in the ‘Tidying up’ book?


Tidying up food

tidying upI have only been taking baby steps with my The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo book since I did the clothing category. I am motivated, but I haven’t had an uninterrupted block of time to tackle the next category (books) yet.
Well, that’s my excuse, anyway.

Since then, I have been scrutinizing other areas of my home through my new ‘tidy eye’, and here’s what I’ve discovered.

I am not a tidy person.

Anyway, this week I have given myself a challenge that is tied to my goals to

  1. Be more tidy and
  2. Spend less money.

I am not going to spend any money on meals or drinks when I am out this week. I am going to eat and feed the fam using the food I already have in the pantry, fridge, and freezer.

I have a lot.

My husband and I figure that conservatively, we are spending $150 a week on food. At the end of this week of not spending any money on food, we will deposit that $150 in the bank (in our new “Go to Italy in 2016” fund, perhaps? :) )

Anyone else want to do this with me? Just for one week. I started October 2nd and will end the week October 9th. You can start today, or tomorrow.

If you decide to try it, I would LOVE to hear how it goes for you, so please consider commenting below.

As Liz Gilbert (speaking of ‘eat’-ing, and oh! of Italy!) would say, “Onward!”

Tidying up

You may have heard of the book that I am reading: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo. Heck, you may even be reading it yourself.

I found it on audio for free (after I bought the hardcover!) on YouTube. I sent the link out to my virtual book club (we’ve only actually read 2 books together; this would be number 3) in case anyone else wanted to read it and talk about it. Or more importantly, to read it and then to act on it.

I decided to act immediately upon finishing a section. I finished the first section that said to start with your clothes, so I did.  It took me about half an hour to empty out all the closets and drawers and make the big pile of clothes.

It took me about 11 hours to discard everything I wasn’t keeping and then to put back everything that I was keeping!

Do not let this dissuade you! Full disclosure: I did try on a lot of things before I decided to keep them. Even if the item did “spark joy” (criterion from the book), I didn’t feel joyful in too-tight pants.

After I emptied my clothes out, I took a picture of the pile and texted it to my husband (the husband who had brought this book to my attention once or twice before I bought it), who was at work.

I didn’t receive a reply.

Me: Did you get my text?

He: Yes.

Me: Well?

He: Well, what?

Me: I thought you’d be glad to see that I started on the tidying up.

He: No! It was terrible! Looking at that made me anxious all day!

File under ‘be careful what you wish for’, husband.


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