This is not a random picture

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Well, it is. But I just happened to have the facial wipes on the table when I sat down with my drink.

Botlhouse Farms – if you don’t know, they are one of the best bottled smoothies you can buy. Especially if you can get them for under $3. This one is Strawberry Banana, packing in strawberries, bananas, pears, apples, and plenty of vitamins. I am suspicious of the “natural flavor” listing on their ingredients, but other than that, I find the nutrition to be worth the occasional bottle.

Simple brand Exfoliating Facial Wipes – I love stuff like this. I picked them up one day when I was feeling oily. I don’t wash my face every day, but I find that I probably should. These help take the oily look a way, mildly exfoliate (I was hesitant at first because I thought it might be too rough), and they actually made my pores look smaller. WHAT? After a few minutes of wiping your face with them, you’ll see the difference. It’s got Pro-Vitamin B5, Vitamin E (for good skin, yo), and Aloe Vera–for what that’s worth.

Okay, random product endorsements over. Just thought I’d share. 🙂

How to Organize and Develop Ideas for Your Novel

How to Organize and Develop Ideas for Your Novel

I go back and forth between wanting to start a novel, and liking the idea of wanting to start a novel. I have various samples and bits and pieces of scenes and some ideas yet to be organized. But it is days like today, when I have a desire to propel through any resistance, where I actually look for helpful ways to channel my writing and ideas into a direction that will end at a completed novel.

A trip to the north and sickness have kept me at bay

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But I’m back now! Still recovering from a virus and throat ulcers. I have taken full advantage of my situation by not doing a bit of work. I might regret that later on today. But it’s time to get back on it!

I was in Wisconsin in most of these photos, but a few of them (the windmill photos and the one where there’s patchy snow) are in Illinois on the way back. I live near Nashville, Tennessee.

Why I Drink Starbucks Frappuccino Chilled Coffee

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Say what you want about commercialization and corporate America, but I’ve tried a lot of iced coffee drinks and none of them compare to Starbucks. Here’s why:

1. Minimal ingredients – Brewed Starbucks coffee, reduced-fat milk, sugar, cocoa, pectin, ascorbic acid. The final ingredient is Vitamin C. Pectin is a fiber found in plants, which actually has numerous health benefits.

2. No carrageenan – While some studies show that this food thickener can be safely digested with no issues, other studies point to tumor-growths in rats, as well as other possible side effects. While there is no conclusive answer, for someone like me who drinks 3 of these a day, I feel better not having it in my drink.

3. A surprising source of protein and calcium – With 6g of protein and 20% of the recommended daily value of calcium, Starbucks has a few added nutrients to go with the caffeine buzz.

4. Fewer problems with bloating – I’ve tried the whole dairy-free thing to prevent intestinal problems and reduce bloating, but dairy-free iced coffee alternatives provide a more questionable variety of ingredients and actually make me bloat worse. This may not be true of everyone, but my body has no complaints even with the dairy in these Fraps.

All in all, my Starbucks habit may not be the cheapest or lowest-calorie option available, but considering the ingredients and even nutritional benefits, I am perfectly happy staying a content and caffeinated patron.

System of a Down – Mezmerize/Hyptnotize

An underrated double album. Either that, or one that everyone has forgotten.

Of course, I don’t expect you to listen to this right now, if you haven’t already. Just sharing that it randomly popped in my mind today, so I’ve been rocking that while I take a break from projects and work.

Getting some exercise in!

[Yesterday’s] Re-Plug

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A day of new writing jobs, resignation from old ones, laundry, dishes, and school ended with this guy at the park. It’s been in the wonderful mid-60s here in Tennessee. We had a great adventure, Alex and me.

Today is already warm, too. I’m in here procrastinating, very unplugged-like, as I struggle to get done with studying.

Current mood: this video that I’m making

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There’s a very real part of me that wants to do this for a living. I’m nearly addicted to editing a story out of my low-budget scenes. I imagine all the time what I would do with professionally shot footage, and–oh, Lord help me–working with talented musicians to create their videos.

But this is what I’m doing instead of spending hours online, or fruitlessly checking my Tumblr when I just checked it five minutes ago. You know, in between writing papers and articles and being a mom. 🙂

Down, but not Derailed

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What’s that famous quote that says something like, “Life is what happens when you’re busy trying to write articles for deadlines and get school assignments done”? Well, it’s been a fitting summary of the past few days. But work and deadlines aren’t the most important thing. I have no cool articles or videos to share today, thus admitting my neglecting of this blog. Alas! I am not neglecting it as my duty in life. So, no, Internet. I am not off-track, nor am I losing focus.

I’ve just been damn busy. 🙂 Although, sometimes busy means going to Chuck E. Cheese with my best friend, who was in town for three weeks, and our kids. She also unexpectedly had to stay with me because her plans to go back home were ruined by a blizzard. It happens.

So life is what happens when you’re busy trying to live the life you want to share on a blog. But the good thing is you don’t have to blog to live a life.