The Great and Powerful A to Z Theme Reveal Blogfest!

(EEEEK My theme! Y'all... I think I've signed up for something big! It's going to be awesome, and also will involve daily writing. No pre-posting for me this year. Can't wait!)

Sign-ups for the 2015 A to Z Blogging Challenge are already under way. If you have done it before, you know how much fun it is (good for you!) and if you have not, this is your chance to give it a try! You can sign up to participate here.

One of the most burning questions participants ask themselves every year is: "Should I have a theme?"
Themes are not mandatory, but definitely fun. They let your visitors know what to expect, and help you create posts that line neatly up from A to Z. They also have an added bonus: They let you participate in a whole separate blogfest!

Two years ago A to Z participant Mina Lobo started the Theme Reveal, and we thought it was such a great idea that we made it tradition. It is now our very own, grand and festive way of rolling out our themes together!

Here is how the Theme Reveal Blogfest works:

Sing up on the Linky list below, and on March 23rd (Monday) publish a post on your blog in which you reveal your theme, tell us why it is exciting, and give us a hint of what to expect from it! Then, once your post is up, use the Linky to visit all the other blogs announcing their themes. Enjoy!

This is a great opportunity for all of you to get a jump start on your A to Z experience. You can link up with fellow bloggers, scout out and bookmark themes that you look forward to, and set out delicious themed bait on your blog to lure in wandering participants! This way, by the time the frenzied posting begins on April 1st, you will already have an audience eagerly awaiting your posts.

Sign up below, ready your theme, and post March 23rd on your calendar!


Happy Galentine's Day!

chocolate covered cherries
My dear friend Katie invited all us ladies out to lunch today, in honor of Galentine's Day. Which, for those of you who don't know (I didn't) is a holiday created by Leslie Knopes of Parks & Recreation. It's basically an opportunity to get together with all your favorite gals on February 13th, to celebrate how awesome we all are. Not bad, right?

I had been wanting to try making chocolate covered cherries for a while, and realized that Galentine's Day would be a great opportunity to try it out, and spoil some of my favorite people in the process. Don't they look delicious? Mmm.. 

We don't have any plans for Valentine's Day. If the weather is as nice as it has been, maybe a hike? *shrug* February is a big month because it's our date'iversary, Valentine's Day, AND my birthday! So yeah.. Lots of chocolate happening here in these couple weeks. :)

For reference, here's a video of Leslie explaining Galentine's Day. What's not to love?


IWSG: February

Just a quick IWSG post from me today, from a conference (and on my phone, hence no pics or formatting!)

I am attending a conference this week called Creating Change. It is a conference for activists, organizers and leaders in the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) movement. Today is the first day and we have not been talking about LGBT issues at all. Today is all about race.

We are talking about things like: how my whiteness impacts how I speak up for LGBT people; why we are so willing to talk about other movements but remain afraid of race conversations; how I understand the world differently because I am white.

So since it is IWSG day I am also thinking about:
* How do stereotypes and prejudices inform my writing (are my only characters  of color always the bad guys?)
* Are there ways that I can further the causes of justice that I so strongly believe in, through my fiction?
* How can I show my audiences that I am an ally and though I am white, people of color will not find themselves excluded or if included always negatively portrayed in my writing?

Are these things you think about when writing?


Super awesome dresser!

One of the items on our project list for The January Cure was to get a dresser or table to put on the wall between the bathroom and closet in our bedroom. The wall just.. needs to have something, and we needed somewhere that could take in odds and ends.

Also tights and leggings are a must in the winter in Colorado, but I swear the darn things multiply when I'm not looking! They were piled high in the closet but are now tucked safely away in adorable little drawers:

So many drawers!
That black binder is *packed* with
travel information
There's room for more...
 Actually the top right and top two left 'drawers' are cabinets, which my adorable husband promptly insisted were to be for storing maps. We have a lot of maps due to all the hiking and traveling, and they were previously piled up on a shelf in the office. But look how nicely they fit in there!

One of my greatest goals in decorating our home is that it be full of items that have significance. Either because we got them while traveling, or they came through our families somehow, or are art created by us or loved ones. I love to be surrounded by things that remind me of my favorite places and people.

So in the picture above you'll see a couple items of significance. The picture on the wall is from a local artist that we found on our visit to Greenwich Village just outside London when we went to see the Prime Meridian Observatory. It depicts the Village with the Meridian cutting through it. The roses are from my bouquet when I stood up in the wedding of one of my best friends, and the vase was a 'big purchase' for my first apartment. I think I need to add a little more something to the vase. Need to receive more flowers! hah The fabric on top of the dresser will actually be hung on the opposite wall over our bed, and came from my husband's grandmother's home.

I'll have to figure out what actually goes on top of the dresser, but I'm so pleased with it both functionally and aesthetically :)

What is your process for deciding how to decorate your home?


#atozchallenge Sign-up is open!

This year's badge is in memory of my
dear friend Tina. The A-Z team misses
her dearly.
I am so excited to be participating as a co-host again for this year's April A-Z Challenge! See below for lots of information!

Additionally, I will be looking for a couple of people to be my wHooligans this year! I have a couple amazing returning team members and will need a couple more to finish my group. If you are interested in helping with A-Z, please comment below and let me know!

And now for all the info... 

Please read and follow the sign-up instructions outlined below so you sign onto the list correctly!

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 3 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends. For more details and its history, go HERE

Please note your blog name and number in all correspondences. Remember that as blogs are removed, your number will change.

There are categories for those looking for like-minded blogs. Select ONE category code and enter it after your blog’s title/name. The code applies to your blog, not your theme for the Challenge and is purely optional. See the first few blogs on the list for examples. However, if your blog has adult content, you MUST mark it (AC) or it will be removed from the list. Codes are as follows:


Be sure to grab the badge and display it in your sidebar so we know you are participating and link to the A to Z Challenge Blog.

For more information we recommend you follow the A to Z Challenge Blog and the hosts:

Arlee Bird @ Tossing it Out
Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh
Jeremy @ Hollywood Nuts
Nicole Ayers @ The Madlab Post
Author Stephen Tremp
Heather M. Gardner
AJ @ Naturally Sweet
Pam @ An Unconventional Librarian
Matthew MacNish @ The QQQE
Zalka Csenge VirĂ¡g @ The Multicolored Diary
S. L. Hennessy @ Pensuasion
C. Lee McKenzie @ The Write Game
Joy Campbell @ The Character Depot
Susan Gourley @ Susan Says
John Holton @The Sound of One Hand Typing
Lisa Buie-Collard, Author

We also have a Facebook Page
Email address is contactatozteam@gmail.com
Twitter hashtag is #AtoZChallenge and Twitter id is @AprilA2Z

Sign up below and join us for a month of alphabet fun!



So.. Tissue packets count as souvenirs, right?
I hope so, because we found tissues from three different countries while cleaning our bathroom baskets tonight.

Left to right those are from England, Spain, and Korea. The Korean package is big because sometimes they don't have toilet paper in the restrooms, and you don't want to be caught without!

Still plugging away at the January Cure. It has definitely been interesting :)