Monday, February 29, 2016

Let Us Eat Cake

Ever want to have your cake and eat it too?

And you want it easy enough to manage on a Monday?

Here's a simple, delicious treat that comes in under a 100 calories...well, unless you add your own creative toppings. 


Start with two cake mixes. 
One regular, one angel food (one has to be angel food or it won't work)
Mix the two cake mixes together (I pour them both into a plastic bag and shake it up, so my mix is easy to use and store)

To make the cake: 

Pour 3 Tbs. of the mix in a bowl or mug
Add 2 Tbs. water
Microwave for one minute (hence the name 3-2-1 cake)


I've made this mix with chocolate, lemon, strawberry...any flavor is excellent!

Now, about the eating cake...

Did you know Marie Antionette never said, "Let them eat cake"?

Talk about the misquote of the centuries!

The first place the phrase, "Let them eat cake" was recorded was in 1765 in Jean-Jacques Rousseau's autobiography, when young Marie was only nine years old and not yet queen. Sadly, lynch (or guillotine) mobs are not known for fact-checking. 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Roanoke or Bust!

Happy Friday, friends of mine!

Today I’m writing to you from the past because at the moment this posts I’m going to be en route to Roanoke, Virginia for an appearance at the MystiCon Fantasy and Horror Convention. And I’m super, super pumped about it. I’m going to be an author guest and breathe the same air as George R. R. Martin!! (the author of the A Song of Ice and Fire series best known as Game of Thrones) I’ll be a little excitable all day to say the least.

As most of you probably know, I’m a fantasy novelist and I do my best to attend as many fantasy/science fiction conventions as my schedule allows. Over the years I’ve accumulated a rather, um... unique list of items that I can’t go without at a con and I thought I’d share some of the special ones with you here. No judging!

#1: Extra deodorant. Oh yes, this one deserves to be at #1. Cons can be hot and crowded, and you’ll want to have a travel-size deo in your purse at all times, lest you join the smelly masses.

#2: An assortment of hats. I can’t feel authory without a proper author hat. So while some of you might be packing bags of shoes for trips, I have a bag of fedoras, caps, and bowlers.


#3: Cat-ear tiara. Duh! Because TIARA + CAT = AWESOME. But if you want to see the real thing, it's part of my Twitter profile pic :-)

#4: Bubble Wands. Those little bubble wands that you usually get as party favors are PERFECT attractors to your book signing table. Crowd a little thin? Pucker up and blow some bubbles because even grown-ups get like this over bubbles.


#5: My purple hair extensions. Because if I can't have purple hair at a fantasy convention, what's the point of having hair at all?


So now it's your turn! What's the craziest thing you've ever packed for a trip?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Bless Your Heart... For Real!

Don't Care
All Customer Service Employees need this book
Yes, I'm trying to stir the pot again.

I once had an interesting conversation that started with this prompt: “There is a vast difference between being 'nice' and being 'polite.’” A few people, and I have to believe that they are among those rarities who are actually nice all of the time (yes, they do exist but I am unfortunately not one of them), argued that there is no difference between the two words. For most of the discussion, however, I found that people do tend to notice distinct differences between these two words and what they meant to them.

I bring this up for two reasons:

  1.  Being a word nerd, I’m fascinated by how two words meaning essentially the same thing conversationally (despite specific definitions) and used interchangeably so often can evolve to conjure such specific reactions, and 
  2. I had a long phone call where I realized that the ‘polite’ person that I was talking to on the phone was not a ‘nice’ person at all. In fact, I was pretty sure that she was giving me the finger while she was saying, “Bless your heart,” safely from her end of the phone line. I got off the phone with this "customer service rep" feeling hollow, irritated, and condescended to, and eventually just angry. NOT good for the old mental/emotional well-being.

Old lady
You probably grew up across the street from this lady

For those not familiar with southern sarcasm, ‘Bless your heart’ can sometimes be a meaningful expression of sympathy, but more often than not it’s a southern lady’s socially acceptable way of saying “Why the hell do you think I care?”

Now it's got me wondering about my own responses to people and feeling slightly guilty. You know what I mean... The phone rings at work and, blast that caller ID, it’s one of those people you'd rather give extraneous body parts than have to deal with. But, since you have a job to do for which you are being paid, on goes that plasticine smile with the glazed eyes as you say, “No, you’re no problem at all, really, how can I help you?” All the while your imagination is dreaming up scenarios in which it would be acceptable for you to scream “Go away already you horrible person!”

See? Polite, but not nice, and certainly not in keeping with my goal to remain positive. On Monday I talked about faking it til we make it as a way to trick ourselves into being more naturally optimistic. When I let myself hide behind the polite mask I'm doing the opposite - I'm allowing myself to be negative by justifying to myself that it's not *my* fault that so-and-so is a pain to deal with instead of just putting my big girl pants on and take some pride in a job well done even if it means a momentary irritation.

Now that I’ve given you the set up, what do you think? What do these two words mean to you, and do you feel affected differently by them?

Monday, February 22, 2016

Fake It Til You Make It!

One of the first bits and most important bits of advice in my early career came from a successful author who told me it had been the key to his success. He told me to “fake it til I made it.” Even from his first book, he never let himself get caught in the trap of believing he hadn’t earned the attention and readership yet. It was really great advice, and it kept me from devaluing my own work even during times of struggle.

However, what he didn’t realize was that he was giving me a mantra to get through every other day of my life, too.

Pulling my hair out? Of course not! I'm just really,
really happy that it's Monday. Riiiiiight.....
And it starts with each and every Monday morning. I wake up like I’m pretty sure most everyone else does – with a cold pit of existential dread in my belly and anger at the world for allowing Monday mornings to even be a thing – and then I start getting into character. It started out as a kind of game while I was putting on my make-up. With each bit I applied, I pretended I was putting on a mask that was happy and smiling and cheery (you know, me after like 5 cups of coffee). By the time I was finished with the transformation I found I was*gasp* actually looking forward to the day and anything it could bring. Sure, I still started out groaning and incoherent, but by the time I got to the office I was the happy morning person that everyone loves to hate. And I meant it!

After a while of such success with faking myself into making it, the process started even earlier in the morning for me. Now in my head I was becoming that TV character who wakes up with a stretch and a smile and perfect hair and eyeliner still intact. True, that only works until I see the mirror, but by that point I already feel better.

And, after all, isn’t feeling better the whole point? Here are some other ways I’ve tricked my brain into not cowering in the dark space between snoozes:

  • Picking a goal that actually excites me to start on first in the morning.
  • Forget worrying about the lengthy to-do list that I didn’t finish before bed. Instead, take stock of my accomplishments during the day and let myself feel some satisfaction for a job well done.
  • I treat myself! I deserve a treat for getting out of bed, right? So I can look forward to whatever special diet-breaking treat I allow myself first thing in the morning. Here lately that’s been a Hansen Pomegranate Soda. Yum!

 What kinds of motivators do you use to help you fake it til you make it?

Friday, February 19, 2016

How to have a happy marriage - the RETRO Way!

And for Free-for-all Friday, SK takes us back, way, way back to the good old days...

As a wife, I've naturally looked up to those who've had long successful happy marriages. Don't get me wrong. My sweetheart is a wonderful man . . . when, umm,  he's not acting up having a rough day, but just the same, it never hurts to seek expert advice . . . 

So I thought, where better to look than to those given in the past? Like, wayyyy in the past. And I'm honestly not sure what that did for me . . . except laugh my butt off. Because, personally? Well, my thoughts on these are simply: NO!  o_O And if you wanna laugh with me, read on!

Here are some RETRO advice on How to Have a Happy Marriage:
(From 1950's “The Good Wife’s Guide”)

***DON'T TALK***

1- Be a good listener. Let him tell you his troubles; yours will seem trivial in comparison. Don’t bother your husband with petty troubles and complaints when he comes home from work.

2- Remember your most important job is to build up and maintain his ego (which gets bruised plenty in business). Morale is a woman’s business.

3- Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.

4- Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him. Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first—remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.

5- Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.

6- Don't be a bad cook! Bad cooking has been responsible for driving the husband to the saloon, and to other places. And when she does cook, she should cook, and not be, as somebody said, a mere can opener.

7- Don't be sentimental! 


What if your man strays after marriage?

8- In case of an occasional lapse on the part of the husband—there a bit of advice may prove acceptable. And my advice would be: forgive and forget. Or still better—make believe that you know nothing. An occasional lapse from the straight path does not mean that he has ceased to love you. He may love you as much; he may love you a good deal more.

This one speaks to my soul so much better than the advice up there:

So there you have it!
Don't forget that a good wife always knows her place . . . 

* * * 
To my dear hosts:
Thanks so much for having me over at The Really Real Housewives of America!
I had fun! Let's do it again sometime ;)

S. Katherine Anthony

S. K. Anthony is a writer, a reader and a make-stuff-up-er who lives in New York with her husband and toddler twins. She is a wine connoisseur, which just really means she knows she loves it, and a caffeine addict. When she isn’t busy with her family, she finds herself being transported into the world of imagination. Well, either that or running away from spiders . . . she is convinced they are out to get her!

We really enjoyed having SK guest post for us! We laughed, we cried, we learned! Now go have a good weekend, you guys!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Chicken CRUST Pizza

I had to double take at this recipe - I thought it was just for a yummy chicken topped pizza - NO! The chicken is the CRUST! Can't wait to try it! Thanks, SK! She'll take it from here...

So if you've followed me at all . . . you know I love pizza. 

Pizza is *almost* my spirit animal. 

(That spot goes to coffee, but that's a whole different post.)

The problem with pizza is, well, I'm allergic to carbs. As evidence by the swelling of my tummy and other parts of my body. Okay, okay, so it's called "gaining weight" but let's NOT get technical. I just merely try to brainwash myself into believing I'm severely allergic to carbs, is all. And yes, for the most part this "trick" works! :D

Anyway—as much as my lack of self control allows me—I tend to follow a low carb, high protein diet. And so . . . by the power invested in me by Google and Pinterest I've come up with an awesome Chicken Crust Recipe. I found it floating around and have tweaked it to my liking. And TRUST me when I say you have to try it! You just have to! It's EASY and DELICIOUS! Definitely perfect for those non-cheat days that you wanna 'pull one over' on yourself and pretend you're being bad. 


  • 1 Pound of Ground Chicken
  • ¼ Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • ¼ Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • ¼ Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning Blend (or just some Basil and Oregano)
  • Sauce and toppings of your choice. (I used Green and Red Peppers, Onion, Spinach, Sausage, Sauce and more cheese than they said, because I LOVE CHEESE!)
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400°.
  2. Combine the ground chicken, cheeses and spices. Line your pizza pan or cookie sheet with parchment paper sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Place the ground chicken mixture onto the pizza pan. Flatten between the two pieces of parchment paper. I used the rolling-pin to get it nice and even, but it's not necessary. Remove the parchment/plastic wrap once done.
  4. Bake in the oven for 20 min or until the crust is golden. (I broiled a bit on both sides because I wanted some crunch).
  5. Place your sauce, toppings and cheese on the chicken crust then bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until the cheese and toppings are melted. 
  6. PLEASE wait until it's cool down a bit before you bite into it! You've been warned!

And there you have it! This is what it looks like ;)

S. K. Anthony is a writer, a reader and a make-stuff-up-er who lives in New York with her husband and toddler twins. She is a wine connoisseur, which just really means she knows she loves it, and a caffeine addict. When she isn’t busy with her family, she finds herself being transported into the world of imagination. Well, either that or running away from spiders . . . she is convinced they are out to get her!

Monday, February 15, 2016

I don't need to clean my house

Welcome, welcome, welcome - S.K. Anthony!
The title of this post alone makes me feel even closer to her. So without more of my nonsense, here is S.K.'s guest post for Monday...

Let me tell you, I just hate cleaning . . . so I don't. Go ahead and judge me, I'll wait. 
*Files nails* 

Done? ;) Okay, so here goes: I hate the idea of "I have to clean" so I avoid it at all costs. Instead, I've brainwashed myself into thinking I've formed daily habits that—unless I stick to—I will gain ten pounds overnight. So far so good.

And I'm honest with myself. I know that being fully organized just isn't going to happen overnight. Come on, Ladies, that's unrealistic (unlike gaining a ton of weight overnight). But keeping up with a routine and being consistent is key to at least look like you have your . . . umm, "stuff" together. 

So, if you are trying to get into a cleaning habit but are struggling with the daily clutter, here are some of my tips:

* If you take something out, put it away! *STAT*
This is something that doesn't and shouldn't have to wait. Most importantly, get your kids and spouse into the same habit. Tell them it's way easier to do it right away than spending hours trying to put EVERYTHING away in one shot. Also, remind them that if you have to do it they might be murdered, so really? It's a "stay alive" habit and they need to get with it.

*Everyday, something needs to be tackled—ten minutes is all you need. Getting it ALL done in one day just screams FAILURE. Take one minute to make your bed, have your kids make theirs, the other nine minutes? Well, pick up clothes and/or toys from the floor one day, dust the next, vacuum, scrub your kitchen sink, etc. Small things that ultimately add up . . . and don't tell me you can't find ten minutes for these little things. You totally got it. I believe in you.

*Deal with your counters. 
This one takes more effort than I care to admit, but it could be simple . . . I think. First, let's begin with the kitchen counter—I don't want to overwhelm you. After dinner? Just wipe the thing down. WIPE IT! And show it who is boss! Once that's second nature to "what happens after dinner", move on to he bathroom counters too. What's a second quick wipe going to do to you? Kill you? No. No it won't. Pinky swear!

On that note . . .

*Umm, wash your dishes. I'll be honest, I don't always thrive here. And I know you're wondering about that overnight weight gain. Well, I keep it to—at most—three pounds when I don't do the dishes. How? I, umm, convince myself they need soaking and so that's kind of taking care of it. Other than that, all I can say is when you get up the next morning you will be so glad you didn't procrastinate on it. Loading & unloading your dishwasher and/or doing dishes by hand is easier for me when I think of it as "mommy break" . . . I shall think and meditate while it happens. If that fails, well, I make up a Cinderella-type story in my head as I play the victim :P

*Sort your mail daily. The first thing I do as I walk from the mail box and into the kitchen, is grab the spam mail & flyers and throw them out (yes, in the recycle bin. Don't stress out!). Then I put the rest of the stack down and let it rest until I'm making dinner . . . because that's how I role. But you have to come up with your own system on that. I have a couple small baskets (I'm obsessed with bins and baskets) so I sort them out into bills to pay, important paperwork that needs further filing, shred the bills already taken cared of, etc. 

So yes, I don't really clean. I just take care of these dreaded tasks quickly so I don't have to even think about them later. And they really only take a couple minutes! Don't put it off! But if you do . . . and you have unexpected visitors? Here's my BONUS TIP:

S. K. Anthony is a writer, a reader and a make-stuff-up-er who lives in New York with her husband and toddler twins. She is a wine connoisseur, which just really means she knows she loves it, and a caffeine addict. When she isn’t busy with her family, she finds herself being transported into the world of imagination. Well, either that or running away from spiders . . . she is convinced they are out to get her!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Hail, Caesar!

I cannot wait to see this movie! I thoroughly enjoy watching old movies and this spoof on the industry looks hilarious! Plus it's got some of my favorite actors - George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Josh Brolin, Ralph Fiennes, Channing Tatum, and more!

A fun movie to take your honey to for Valentine's Day! Or President's Day, even =)
Have a great, love-filled weekend, y'all!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I hate making dinner

There, I said it. Does anyone else relate? I always feel bad about not enjoying to cook. My mom likes to cook, my sister likes to cook, lots of my friends like to cook, and apparently lots of people on Facebook either like to cook or just like watching someone else cook... Well, I appreciate all these people - and I love to eat good cooking! I just don't like to do it myself.

I'm going to be that grandma from Sixteen Candles, W/O the cigarette!

Here are my
Top Ten Reasons for Detesting Dealing with Dinner...
  1. The daily question, "What's for dinner?" with answer followed by a groan.
  2. The prep work - chopping, shredding, slicing, peeling, etc
  3. The recipe times for prep work are usually underestimated
  4. The splatter! I have an apron, but when I forget it, I inevitably stain one of my favorite shirts.
  5. The smell - great during, but it sticks with you for hours after and isn't as appetizing...
  6. Time to make = 30-40 min, Time to eat = 5-10 min, Time to clean up = 30-40 min
  7. At least one person has a complaint or suggestion on how to do it better
  8. The other annoying question, "Why can't we eat out?"
  9. No help, unless threatened at gun point to take away video game time
  10. Sometimes it's just not worth it.
Does anyone relate? It can be tough, but we still have to do it. So, being a problem-solver, here are some 
Ways to Take the Agony out of Dinner:
  • Turn on some tunes or put on a show
  • Pre-cooked and pre-chopped ingredients
  • Easier substitutions
  • Add-ins for personalization and picky palettes
  • It's healthier with fresh fruits and veggies we don't usually get eating out.
  • As the kids get older, they actually do appreciate more, try more foods, and help more.
  • Mostly, it reminds me of my mom and all the wonderful things she did for my sis and me growing up. She's the best!
Happy Mother's Day! (I know it's not May yet, but we deserve more than ONE DAY a YEAR!)

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