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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Secret to a White Smile

People have been asking me for years "how do you keep your teeth so white"? I'm a huge coffee drinker and I've spent most of the last decade pregnant or breastfeeding, so I haven't used any chemical whitening products. Here's the secret:

1) Brush your teeth twice a day (minimum) and floss
2) See your dentist for a professional cleaning at least once a year
3) Use a straw with any colored beverage

and for ladies...we add a #4

4) Wear dark lipstick

You thought I was going to tell you to stop drinking red wine and coffee, didn't you? Nope - not this girl!

Drinking soda with a straw isn't tough, and I drink wine in public
withOUT a straw, but when I'm at home, I'll actually use a straw. Coffee on the other hand was kind of a trick. Who wants to use a plastic straw with a hot liquid? The answer is NO ONE and it's not a good idea anyway, because the temperature and the plastic/wax ensures you'll be drinking chemicals not meant for consumption.

The solution to coffee stains is the adorable little number in the photos above - introducing the Koffie Straw!! (and yes, they come in colors other than pink - pink just happens to be MY favorite color)

These straws come with a cleaning brush, they also come in various lengths so you can use them with a to go cup from Starbucks!! They're easy to use and easy to clean - and a big help in keeping your smile white!

Here's a coupon code for so you can try them for yourself: FebGet10

They're also available on Amazon - so go out and try some for yourself today!

Feel free to share your comments and photos!

May your paths be abundantly filled with lemons, sugar, and plenty of reasons to show off those pearly whites!


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Nancy Cramer Reviews "Never Too Late" by B. Lynn Goodwin

Thank you to WOW! Women on Writing for including us in the book blog tour for B. Lynn Goodwin's Never Too Late

Nancy's Review:

It’s never too late to read a book that holds your interest and keeps you reading into the night, until too tired, just to see what the character is going to get herself into next.
Never Too Late by B. Lynn Goodwin is that exact book!

Being over 60 is not a reason to be put on “hold.” Goodwin proves that as she has her character in,
Never Too Late, discover there is life after being
single your entire life. Hard to change and accept
each step, she trudges on, telling herself she deserves
more in her life, even at this “age.”

I love that the characters were diverse in beliefs, yet able
to find common ground to explore and create lives that suited both of them. I also loved that there was compromise on both sides with non-judgemental

Reading Never Too Late you get the sense that there is “hope” out there for everyone! If you are in the mindset of it’s too late for me, no matter what age you are, I definitely
recommend this book! It’s one that should be on the top of your list of what to read next!

Official Book Summary:

How does a 62-year-old woman who's never been married find happiness with a two-time widower seeking his third wife on . . . Craigslist!?

Does she throw caution to the wind and relinquish her freedom, or should she take a crash course in compromises?

Author B. Lynn Goodwin tells all and more in Never Too Late. How she was attracted to Richard's clear expectations, his honesty, and his incredible openness. She'd never met anyone like him. Would she recognize love if it knocked on her heart? And could an educated woman be happy moving into a blue-collar world?

Whether you've been single forever, are trapped in an unhappy marriage, or you're simply curious, you'll find secrets to a happy marriage in Never Too Late.

Paperback: 222 Pages
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Koehler Books (December 20, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1633936082
ISBN-13: 978-1633936089

Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62 is available for print and eBook at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and IndieBound.

About B. Lynn Goodwin:

B. Lynn Goodwin is the owner of Writer Advice, She’s written You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers (Tate Publishing) and Talent (Eternal Press). Talent was short-listed for a Literary Lightbox Award and won a bronze medal in the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards and was a finalist for a Sarton Women’s Book Award.

Her manuscript, Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62 was published by Koehler Press on December 20, 2017. Goodwin’s work has appeared in Voices of Caregivers, Hip Mama, Dramatics Magazine, Inspire Me Today, The Sun, Good, Purple and elsewhere. She is a reviewer and teacher at Story Circle Network, and she is a manuscript coach at Writer Advice. She always has time to write guest blog posts and answer questions. She loves working one on one, trouble-shooting, and helping writers find what works.

She can be found online at:






About Today's Reviewer: 

Since I was young I could travel, hide and grow “in” my book world. When young I read series: Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, etc. From that young world I grew into books that were a bit different. I usually bypass the mainstream authors. I find the quirky books, the ones that are a bit of fantasy with reality thrown in. If it starts out holding my
interest I have been known to stay up late into the night to find out what happens next!

I’m retired from the greatest career I could have ever stumbled upon. I taught 31 years, 26 in Kingergarten - a highlight of my life! Want quirkiness, fun, drama and great rewards - try being with 5 to 8 year olds everyday for 31 years! It was a hoot everyday and the kiddos wrote more books than I can remember. Books for every unit we
covered In K through 3rd. grade! Art work was an added bonus for many of the children while writing and “publishing” their books.

I like to think I passed my love of reading onto my own 2 children
as well. Their interests are varied and different stages of life have
brought different genres to the forefront. All 3 of us devoured the
Harry Potter series! A great way to connect with your children,
discussing the excitement of books.

Being an avid traveler, through my teaching years and in retirement,
I have also gravitated to books about the areas I’ve visited or lived in.
I walked a short distance on the Appalachian Trail at one point in my life.
That set me off researching and reading all the books I could find about
people that have walked the multitude of trails in the world. Their stories
are amazing!

I will continue to curl up with a book, be it in the dead of winter in
front of the fire or in a hammock by the lake with fish jumping in
the background. With a book in your hands, the world is yours!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

New Book Blog Tour - "Crossing the Line" by Ellen Valladares

The lovely Ellen Valladares is publishing a fun new mystery with WiDo Press. The book Crossing the Line is set to release March 6th so we've scheduled a WOW! Women on Writing book blog tour beginning April 16th running for approximately a month. Here's how Ellen described the book:

It's a light read, a little more ghost story/mystery/New Agey. 
Similar maybe to the Lovely Bones, to give you an idea.

I'd like to schedule a fair amount of reviews to help lay the groundwork for a successful book launch and book tour.

Can I count on your participation?

Please email or and let me know the following:

1) what date works best for you (dates between 4/17-5/17)?
2) what email address can I send your e-copy to?
3) what is the URL for the blog you'll be posting your review on?

Read on to find out more about this delightful mystery!

Laura, who died thirty years ago, enlists the help of a tenacious high school reporter named Rebecca, who is very much alive. Rebecca, although skeptical and conflicted by her supposed encounters with a spirit, determines to learn the truth about Laura’s tragic death. As the clues unravel and their worlds collide, Rebecca finds herself at a dangerous crossroads.

Laura, now pulled back into everything she left behind when she died – her old high school and memories of her life and death—has been in training for this exact moment. And nothing means more to her than succeeding at her assignment.

It is her one chance to make sure that what happened to her does not happen to anyone else, and especially not to her new friend, Rebecca.

About the Author:

Ellen Wolfson Valladares is an award-winning writer/author, workshop facilitator, community volunteer, and mother. A native Floridian, she grew up in St. Petersburg and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Florida. She has worked as an editor, public relations professional, and freelance writer. Her first book, a children’s novel entitled Jonathan's Journey to Mount Miapu, received several awards, including a Mom’s Choice Gold Award and the 2009 Coalition of Visionary Resources Visionary Awards Book of the Year award. She also has a meditation CD, entitled “Healing and Manifestation with the Archangels.”
Today, Valladares continues to work as a freelance writer. She also enjoys coaching high school students working on their college essays and helping other writers realize their dreams. She has been married to her husband, Manny, for 30 years and they have two sons, Gabriel and Michael, two dogs, Flash and Chili Pepper, and a crazy cat named Zelda. They live in Weston, Fla.

Book Review of Fiona Maria Simon's Gambling on Granola

Thank you WOW! Women on Writing for bringing us and including us in this fabulous book blog tour for this insightful business memoir!

In Gambling on Granola: Unexpected Gifts on the Path of Entrepreneurship, Simon shares a tale that is uplifting and inspiring but also raw and honest. This is a business memoir but also a love story―the love for her daughter, of a journey in uncharted waters, of the products and company she created, and of the continued challenge to follow her dream.

We see her growth and healing over fifteen years, as mistakes, weaknesses, and naiveté evolve into resilience, resolve, and inspiration. For Fiona, it started out as all new businesses do―with an idea. But her world quickly became more complex as she established her company, developed new product lines, forged personal relationships in a competitive environment, grew her business, and held onto her deepest values―all while raising her daughter, Natalie, as a single mom.


"Fiona’s story is both personal and transformative. She lays bare the hopes and anxieties, challenges, betrayals and lessons learned in creating her own business. From the mountaintops of a solar observatory where she was raised, to the struggles and triumphs, her story is like a path of granola crumbs leading the reader to understand how to succeed at any enterprise."
- Jeff Kline, M.A. Ed., Chairman, Hispanic Communications Network, Washington, DC.

"Fiona Simon is an engaging storyteller and her narrative moves right along. It should inspire and motivate anyone who needs to remember the importance of persistence, belief in oneself, and vision in pursuing a goal. Her granola is good and so is her book."
- Bob McCormick, Publisher, Editor, Author

Paperback: 210 pages
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Terra Nova Books (January 1, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1938288920
ISBN-13: 978-1938288920

Gambling on Granola is available in in print at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound.

About the Author:

Fiona Maria Simon is a former journalist, travel writer, editor, and communications director of the Boulder, Colorado, Chamber of Commerce. She is passionate about developing healthy food products, writing, traveling the world, and inspiring and empowering others with her story. Lured by the adventures of entrepreneurship, she launched her own organic granola company and led it to success despite having no business background and simultaneously juggling the demands of being a single mom. Her book is a story of challenges, hardships, and triumphs, both personal and professional.

Find Fiona Online:





Review by Cathy Hansen:

Gambling on Granola, by Fiona Maria Simon, is an interesting memoir of Simon’s life as an entrepreneur. Simon takes readers back to where it all began, after her life took a turn and she found herself a single parent. Quickly learning that she needed a change in her life and something to fill the time while daughter Natalie visited her father, Simon was inspired to start a granola company. Starting with only a strong passion for her craft and some baking talent, Simon built her company from the ground up, taking her daughter on the adventure with her.

Simon skillfully tells readers everything she learned about starting a business and making it successful, including many obstacles she faced along the way. Readers take the journey through Simon’s business development with her, and learn about more than just business. Simon also writes of all of the fascinating people she met along the way, many who helped her achieve success. We also see how much she adores her daughter and enjoys their time together.

Gambling on Granola is not a book about entrepreneurship or how to be successful in your business. Sure, there are some takeaways and tips, but it’s more about the importance of relationships, networking, and above all having a passion for what you do and a dream that keeps you going even when times get tough.

About Today's Reviewer:

Cathy Hansen is a wife, mom, teacher, independent
beauty consultant, and small business owner. She and her husband operate SeedsNBeans, a local nature store, in Two Rivers, Wisconsin.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Cough Drop Recipe

We've tried making cough drops in the past and they didn't turn out. My candy thermometer had broken and like any project, if you don't have the right tools, you'll end up with a mess.

This is a pretty simple process, but you'll need:

a candy thermometer
a wooden spoon
A saucepan
candy molds
2 cups of water
1/2 cup local honey
flavor oils
powdered sugar
wax paper
a covered container
a sink of hot soapy water ready for clean up

Once you've gathered those items, you can start:

1) combine the water, honey, and flavor oil in the saucepan and attach your candy thermometer to the side of the pan (some people use essential oils, some people use tea bags, elderberry syrup, etc...let's not get in a debate about this, YOU do YOU and I'll tell you that I really enjoy working with LorAnn flavoring oils and for a cough drop recipe I'll use cinnamon, but you can also make root beer barrels using the root beer flavor instead).

2) Using a medium to high heat, and stirring constantly with your wooden spoon, bring your mixture to 300 degrees which is called the hard crack temperature for making candies. (this takes approximately 1/2 hour at our house, but every stove and home is different)

3) After reaching hard crack, remove the mixture from the heat and place your candy thermometer in the sink of hot soapy water so it is easy to clean when you're done. Allow the mixture to cool until the bobbles and frothy matter on the top has disappeared. Stir it every few minutes and keep a close eye on it - there's a small window of time where it's ready to pour in the molds before it gets too hard to work with.

4) Once cooled a bit, go ahead and spoon the syrup into your silicone molds and then place your empty pan and wooden spoon in the hot soapy water.

5) Allow the candies to harden and cool on the kitchen counter - don't rush the process in the freezer - just wait the hour and let it happen (use that time to clean up the kitchen)

6) Remove candies from molds and coat in a bit of powdered sugar and then wrap individually in wax paper pieces you've cut into small 3x3""ish" squares.

7) Store in a covered container to keep from getting sticky

8) Enjoy! Share with a friend!


May Your Paths Be Abundantly Filled With Lemons, Sugar, Sunshine, and Shareable Moments with Friends!!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Lemon Shortbread Cookie Recipe

Lemon shortbread cookies

Preheat oven to 350F

1C white sugar
1C brown sugar
1t baking soda
1 1/2C melted butter
2 eggs
2t vanilla extract
1t almond extract
Lemon flavor to taste (1-2t)

*mix above ingredients at medium/high speed

3C flour

*combine (should not be sticky)

1C walnut pieces
(Could also use white chocolate chips)

*combine gently

Spoon into balls and place on baking sheet, press gently.

Bake 13 minutes then add topping

To make topping:

1C powdered sugar
1t vanilla extract
1t almond extract
1-2t lemon flavor


Gently drip over warm cookies
Allow frosted cookies to cool

Eat & Enjoy!!

***for even more enjoyment, share with a friend!!!