Wednesday, October 31, 2012


What fun to have Halloween fall on HUMP Wednesday! Something scary, ghoulish, spooky, and hair raising to get us through the week.

Many of us have kids, so all you parents are probably "FREAKING!" Having to make costumes, gather the kids, organize neighborhood activities, etc ... not to mention all the SUGAR highs.

Families living in the suburbs really get to have ALL the fun. City dwellers have too many distractions and parents here stick to school activities for their Halloween fun. I don't get to see all the kidlits dressed in an array of everything from witches to the latest new zombie characters.

Because of the catastrophic "Sandy," high winds and COLD temps will definitely wreck havoc on the city kids. Prayers go out to ALL on the eastern seaboard. SO many of my blogger friends live on the coast and I hope they survived this horrific storm. Talk about a Halloween horror story.

I hope all of you are well and have something fun planned for today ... as for me, I will be still working on getting my writing space put together. I still have to paint the French door, and closet door. Hang a few pics and organize my fantabulous new closet... Then I need to tackle the living room. I hope to have pics posted sometime next week. Let's hope my friendly, mischievous ghost doesn't play any "tricks" on me today... lol.

So what do you have planned for today? AND ... what's your favorite Halloween treat. Which one do you STEAL out of your kid's bag? AND ... REMEMBER THE CALORIES ... LOL.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Hi, all,

Well I must apologize to my fellow ROMANTIC FRIDAY WRITERS for posting my entry SO INCREDIBLY late.

This week with the remodel has been beyond stressful and busy. I know you all understand how life throws so many obstacles in our way. BUT on the bright side I did begin to pen my first EVER Film Noir Novella.

It all began when I started writing with the Romantic Friday Writers. During one prompt I had created the Film Noir word. I found myself escaping back into the 1940's and LOVING every minute of it. This was a time where woman were strong, feminine, and beautiful and Men were heroic, classy, and masculine to the ENTH degree.

For my entry today I am posting an excerpt from the first chapter of my novella. I had wanted to post it from the beginning, but since we have only a thousand word limit, I would have gone over by over five hundred. And I must say the co- hostesses are sticklers for the rules AND they really put on through the paces on this one.

Since it's October, the prompt must be a chilling story with perhaps a ghost or haunted locations. A romantic element must be present and tension is a must.

I chose the haunting location of 1940's Chicago. I hope you enjoy my excerpt of a slim 853 descriptive words.

A sterling mist swirls like autumn leaves, shading the full moon on this All Hallows Eve. Only a single beam of light weaves through the chilly veils and settles on the swinging fringe of an unsuspecting flapper’s dress: the ever present wind, catches each and every delicate strand.

She stops in front of a brilliant marquis; hundreds of lit spheres floating in golden bronze. A masterpiece of mirrored images reflect Chicago’s finest citizens as they enter into the Palmer House. 

After adjusting the feathered headband, she wraps herself in a bubblegum pink faux mink, steps behind a masked Cleopatra escorted by a bandy-legged Marc Antony,  and slips into the lobby.

“Over here, honey.” Doris’ nasal voice rends through the din like a foghorn on a stormy New England night. She glances down from the top of a polished marble staircase centered with a hand-woven, blood-red Persian runner. The ceiling reminiscent of the Sistine Chapel, and appliqued with hundreds of inlaid gilt medallions, frames Doris as she waves a lacy, gloved hand to the approaching flapper.

The man standing next to her, suited up in navy pin-stripes and spats extends his arm. “I’m Marty. Glad you could make it tonight toots. Doris was right, you’re a livin doll.” He wraps his arm around her waist and ushers her toward a tall, strapping man. “This is Cal Cavanaugh ... your escort this evening.” He glares at Cal. “Well say something to the dame, you boob.”

Cal’s throat constricts and he swallows hard. He bends slightly as a cowlick brakes free from his greased, raven hair and covers the right side of his horn-rimmed glasses. “A pleasure,” he says low.

A penciled brow raises and she licks her ruby, bee-stung lips. “How do you do.” Her eyes rake over his broad physique. “I don’t understand your costume. Am I missing something?”

A bead of sweat clings to his brow as a grin etches into his square jaw. 

“Well ... show her you big palooka.” Doris giggles and smacks him on the back with a senorita’s fan.

He raises thick fingers and loosens a tight collar and three buttons. Sapphire blue and a red S incased in a yellow triangle strain across his chiseled, muscular chest.

Doris fans herself frantically. “What I’d tell you, honey. He’s a real pip.”

A slight pink glow peeks through her powdered face. “I see. I have a date with Superman. Is that all you?”

Now it was his turn to blush.

The gangster, the flamingo dancer, the flapper, and Superman climb the alabaster stairs flanked by blank onyx illuminated figures. Open etched glass paneled doors graciously invite the quartet into the Empire room. A heavily encrusted gilt medallion holds center stage on the elaborate ceiling as rainbows of faceted light drizzle down on the polished hardwood floor from dozens of draped crystals cascading like an opalescent waterfall.

Glenn Miller’s Moonlight Serenade touches every romantic as hundreds of masked couples sway like coconut palms on Havana’s sugary white beaches. 

Marty drags Doris onto to the dance floor. “Bye, we’ll see ...”

Cal extends his hand. “Care to dance?”

She folds into his arms and the music sweeps them into a sea of glittery gowns, cloaks, masked strangers, and mysterious creatures of the night. 

The chandeliers dim to barely a whisper and a spot hits the orchestra leader on stage. 

“Tonight I have the great pleasure to introduce the debut of the world renowned pianist, Liberace.”

Hundreds of raised hands applaud while lips pucker and whistles howl.

“Ladies and gentlemen, LIBER-RACE!”

Sporting a beaded black tie and tails, he steps on stage holding a lit twelve taper candelabra and places it on the high-glossed Steinway. 

A deafening silence filters through the room like a noxious gas.

With the waving of one diamond-studded hand, Liberace cast his spell. From Mozart’s,  The Magic Flute, to Beethoven's Fifth, to, As Time Goes By, each new melody blends seamlessly into the next. Pin-pricked eyes dart across the keyboard and never miss a single note. 

Suddenly a girl screams and a sharp crack breaks the spell. She struggles behind a marble pillar as the final fringe of a flapper’s costume disappears into the shadows. 

Chandeliers ignite. Faces unmasked reveal dropped jaws, glazed eyes, and vacant expressions. Bodies are paralyzed. Silence louder than Hitler’s Blitzkrieg jolts the once euphoric atmosphere.

As the crowds disperse, the original foursome are now two. 

“Where’s Marty?” Doris shrieks. “And what happened to Rosemary?”

Cal stands on tip toe, searching frantically. “I thought she went to the ladies room with you?

“Oh, no ... I didn’t wait.” Tears explode from Doris’s black-lined eyes. “What could’ve happened to her?” She stares up at Cal with a tear stained face. “You don’ think?” she whispered.

“Marty do such a thing? I’ve know him my whole life. I know he could be a goon sometimes ... but this?” He shook his head.

Doris latches onto his arm. “We need to find them.”

As dawn breaks through a driftwood gray mist on All Hallows day, a body floats in the Chicago river.

I hope you enjoyed the excerpt .... Please let me know what you think.....

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, October 15, 2012


Hello, All,

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. It rained here in Chicago and the winds would marvel anything the Wizard of Oz might have drummed up. Thankfully there are still stunning golds, reds, oranges, and greens left on the trees to keep autumn around a bit longer before winter sets in and, alas, us as well.

The winds certainly rubbed me the wrong way, pelting through the rain and getting soaked. Not fun when you have to errands to do or trying to keep in shape. So, now more than ever, we have to watch what we inhale ... food wise that is... LOL.

Many consumers are led to believe that "Low fat" PROCESSED foods are a healthy choice. SO, why then, are so many people over weight? The answer is in the processing! Many of these "so called" healthy foods are LOADED with chemicals, sugar, and salt. Hardly healthy guys. READ YOUR LABELS .... if there isn't anything "WHOLE" in the ingredients, TOSS it.  Our bodies were not created to process chemicals. As for sugar and salt, well, they are processed too, unless you buy organic or raw. Which IS a healthier choice.

Many say the eating healthy is expensive .... yes, it can be, however in the long run you will be saving THOUSANDS in medical bills later on. YES ... high blood pressure, diabetes, and the big C are all bi-products of an unhealthy lifestyle. Many of these diseases are caused by obesity. We, as writers, need to BE informed. WE are not as active as we should be, so it is extremely important to eat right ESPECIALLY in the winter months.

I know you have heard this before, but it is IMPERATIVE to take charge of eating correctly. Of course you can have the occasional sweet... I LIVE for my chocolate and biscotti cookies, but.... I watch my intake and I balance these sweet urges with fresh fruit.... How delicious is a sweet, crunch apple.... YUMM! OR grapes, or strawberries or blueberries? Add some NATURAL whipped cream... no, not the one in the can, buy organic whipping cream ... it takes a few minute to beat it into sheer delight and it's almost naturally sweet on it's own. However drop in a touch of stevia.... better than sugar or organic raw sugar and you have an amazing sweet.

For all you BREAD lovers out there. Have it, BUT, make sure it is WHOLE grains, NO WHITE processed flour. Remember PROCESSED foods mean your body can't process them and it immediately gets stored as FAT.

Now, let's talk about fat.... Oooooo... THAT DREADED word. Now don't be shocked by what I say here. WE all need fat in our diets .... but .... HEALTHY FATS. Who doesn't LOVE guacamole? That is a healthy fat.... Avocado is excellent and DELICIOUS. Now I am not saying to each a bag of salty chips with your guac..... there are alternatives. Try jicama ... never heard of it? Well it is a large root vegetable. After you cut away the brown outer layer, you have a DELICIOUS crunchy, white, juicy, snack. It almost tastes like potatoes, but SO MUCH better for you.

Use jicama,  fresh salsa (make your own ... it's not difficult at all), guacamole, a FEW low salt natural chips, organic ground beef, organic beans, organic sour cream ... and now you have the makings of a real Mexican fiesta... LOL.

Another healthy fat ... nuts. No, not the ones honey roasted with tons of salt added. Again, look at the ingredients. All that should be listed is the nut. Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, .... nothing else. You would be amazed how much weight you can lose just by looking at the sodium content. If salt is added ... look at the amount. It's best to buy foods that have NO ADDED salt. There may be sodium in the food itself and that is fine. I want you to be aware of the salt added.

It's just like sugar. Many foods have natural sugar, it's the added sugar I am concerned about and you should be too.

With the holidays a breath away, many of us love to bake.... Yummm.... a much better alternative to buying PROCESSED baked goods. Have you ever read the label on boxed cake and CAKE MIXES? I almost stroked out when I decided I wanted to back a cake from a mix. I grabbed the one my mom always used and the first ingredient was SUGAR.... EEEKKKK!

So needless to say I dropped that box, like I was stabbed by it. I will never use cake mix again. Best to buy organic whole wheat flour and make it yourself. It doens' t take that much additional time. And frankly, isn't our bodies, and our families worth the extra effort? Plus if you go on line there are zillions of recipes to bake healthy even using non-wheat flours. And the results are amazing. It's the processed low-fat baked goods that taste like crap.

Well everyone that is my rant for today about eating healthy. READ your labels. Seriously, the media does an EXCELLENT job of brainwashing us into the WRONG way of eating healthier.

In two weeks everyone's favorite Ninja Captain, Alex Cavanaugh will be dropping in to give us tips on how he stays in shape while traveling through the universe.

Have a wonderful day everyone and make the right choices. I care. A healthy body and mind will give us the tools to create wonderful stories and I'd like us all to live NICE, LONG, LIVES  ... we'll need it to read all of them.

Friday, October 12, 2012


Happy Friday All,

Well, Autumn is in full bloom here in Chicago. The trees are ALIVE with THE most brilliant of reds, golds, and oranges. It's crisp and clear and all I want to do is go out and play in the leaves .... Ah, to bit a kid again and make a big pile, rev up the keds sneaks, and run like hell leaping. I can still smell the damp leaves now as I am writing this post.

But today I am here at home. Trapped. BUT for an excellent cause. My new writing/illustrating/design studio is being created as we speak. For years, I've wanted/needed a space to call my own, but as we all know, especially as city dwellers that space is at a premium. It's not like I can add a room ... wishful thinking. BUT I could recreate the space I have.

When I bought this condo, the major factor in my decision was that it featured an enormous living room. Back then, I wanted an elaborate French Salon-style room. It features five windows overlooking Lincoln Park and in the distance downtown Chicago. Gorgeous view. So I managed to pull it off, silk drapes, oversized STUFFED down sofas, antiques galore (thanks to my great uncle), and the ultimate hand-made Pakistan rug. It cost a fortune, needless to say, but I had to have a stunning space to attract the right clientele for my Interior Design business.

IT worked. I had invited many of the residents in my building and managed to start work right away. This was back in 2004 when real estate was BOOMING and everyone wanted their spaces remodeled with high-end finishes. I was MORE than happy to oblige.

Then the unthinkable happened in the fall of 2008... I cringe at the thought. A major economic collapse and I had just invested over 60,000 dollars in my kitchen remodel. Two of my scheduled clients pulled out of their contracts. NO one was using a designer. Contractors were scrounging for work and only wanted free advice from me. So what was I do...FREAK of course! Thankfully I had savings but I still needed to do something with my time. I was going nuts. When you are used to being insanely busy and then all of a sudden you have all this time. What do you do? I began to write.

So, here I am writing, waiting patiently for the workers to finish my new space. If you haven't guessed by now I decided to take my oversized living room and create two rooms. A living room and a functional works space. I have four windows facing southeast, the park, pond, and downtown. Talk about inspiration. No longer will I have a formal space, but now a casual, clean contemporary space. Gone are the overstuffed sofas to be replaced by low-profile linen ones. In comes the large screened TV I swore I would never have in my living room.  Funny how our tastes and needs change.

I will post pics of the new space...It will be, of course, up to my high design standards even though it will be modern and much less grand. Been there, done that. I need function. My design business is doing well, and I have lots of stories to write and illustrate.

How about you? Do you have THE perfect space to create or were you like me, writing on the sofa, in bed or at the kitchen table? (That's where I wrote my first novel)

So now I will leave you to enjoy your Friday, and I hope you all have GRAND plans for the weekend. I will be painting my French door and closet door for the contractors to install on Monday... But today I am inside and hope to work on editing.

Here is a pic I took of the skyline the other day.... isn't it gorgeous?!


Friday, October 5, 2012


Hi, everyone,

Well, it's Friday and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend planned. Chicago will be COLD and dreary, so I will be staying closed in reading Romantic Friday Writers' post.

Yes, it's that time again. We have another prompt this week. We are celebrating Denise and Donna's birthdays! Happy birthday ladies! And happy birthday to ALL October babies.

So challenge #46 is based on an elaborate birthday where the mc finds himself/herself out of sorts and with an inappropriate gift. Sound so humiliating and embarrassing, doesn't it?

Well for this challenge I decided to bring back my characters from prompt 44... She... written in Film Noir style.

It's a genre I am toying with and hope to turn into a novella. Let me know what you think. I would appreciate your opinions.

So without further adieu here's my entry at 399 words ....

Flash bulbs pop as a black limo door opens. A silky leg unfolds and she steps out, draped in an ebony mink stole. Hidden behind a sheer black veil, her gloved hand laces into the arm of a grey-haired man.

He whisks her through the columned portico and into the gilded lobby of the Drake. The paparazzi clamor closely behind, only to be shut out by two husky men, patrolling the entrance to the Palm Court. 

The melodic strum of a harp mingles with hushed voices as two patent leather, ankle-strapped pumps tap on the travertine floor. A waiter rushes to her side to light the cigarette anxiously awaiting. She inhales from a jeweled holder as the rhinestones reflect the dazzling crystal chandelier soaring above her head.

Screened in a cloud of silvery smoke, the lighter clicks and the waiter disappears.

“Mr. Sinclair,” a voice rings out. “Welcome, and congratulations.” A stocky man approaches, extending an arm.

“Marcel. Thank you.” They clasp hands. 

“I hope everything is to your satisfaction,” Marcel says, a bead of sweat lingering on his brow.

“It’s fine, Marcel. Isn’t it my dear?” He places a manicured hand around her cinched waist.

She nods.

As couples gather with “Happy birthday” gracing their lips, the mountain of Tiffany boxes weigh heavily on a carved mahogany table stationed next to the celebrated couple.  

A single man lurks behind a massive Corinthian column. His eyes glance from the tinkling marble fountain; to the floral arrangement featuring hundreds of white orchids; and finally rest on the man and the array of presents piled a mile high next to him.

He lowers his head and fumbles with a cellophane-taped package wrapped clumsily in brown and white striped paper. Large callused hands press the wrinkled suit jacket.

“What the hell am I doing here anyway?” He brushes the loose hair away from his eyes and focuses on the woman. 

She is perfectly poised. Glossy, red lips are the only portion of her face unhidden. An occasional drag on her cigarette parts her bow-shaped mouth. Treading toward the couple, his eyes never wander from her.

He clears his throat.

Both their heads turn.

“You came?”

He lowers his gaze to meet the older man’s eyes. “Ah, this if for you.”

He tosses the gift onto the pile.

The younger man’s face flushes.

“Nephew, this is my secretary, Miss Donavan.”

Well, I hope this has you intrigued. Don't forget to visit the other Romantic Writers for their version of this prompt ... click here.

Have an AWESOME weekend everyone.


Thursday, October 4, 2012


Pinpoints of light prickle the indigo sky, brightening from a pale blue to an illustrious bright white. 

"Look, there, amongst the flickers a flash of violet!"

What could it be?, you ask. Where on earth did it land? 

Glistening wings flutter as they approach a sleeping boy. He awakens and then ....

it happens ....

... the unthinkable.


Now, for your eyes only THE FAIRIE GUARDIAN is revealed ....

Greetings all,

Today it gives me great pleasure to feature my good friend and amazing writer, Rachel Morgan. Today the cover of her newest book is revealed! Isn't it stunning? WOW.... I can see the magical sparks leaping off the page.

Here's the blurb from Rachel and the amazing details of her giveaway ...

Title: The Faerie Guardian
Author: Rachel Morgan
Release Date: 5 Nov 2012
Add to

Protecting humans from dangerous magical creatures is all in a day’s work for a faerie training to be a guardian. Seventeen-year-old Violet Fairdale knows this better than anyone—she’s about to become the best guardian the Guild has seen in years. That is, until a cute human boy who can somehow see through her faerie glamour follows her into the fae realm. Now she’s broken Guild Law, a crime that could lead to her expulsion.

The last thing Vi wants to do is spend any more time with the boy who got her into this mess, but the Guild requires that she return Nate to his home and make him forget everything he’s discovered of the fae realm. Easy, right? Not when you factor in evil faeries, long-lost family members, and inconvenient feelings of the romantic kind. Vi is about to find herself tangled up in a dangerous plot—and it’ll take all her training to get out of it alive.

[This novel was originally published in four separate parts: 
Guardian, Labyrinth, Traitor and Masquerade. It includes bonus scenes at the end.]

Giveaway Time!

The bonus scenes at the end of the book are NOT written from the main character's point of view. If you'd like to win a $10 Amazon gift card, all you have to do is guess whose point of view these scenes are written from! Head on over to the cover reveal post at
 Rachel Morgan Writes and fill in the Rafflecopter form. There's a list of characters there that you can choose from. Good luck!

Thanks for dropping by everyone. I hope you enjoyed the reveal. Don't forget to drop by tomorrow for another Romantic Friday Writers Flash Fiction. The prompt .... well .... you'll just have to wait until tomorrow. 

Have a great day everyone!

And if you are looking for the Insecure Writers Support Group post, click here.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Hi, Everyone,

Well, it's the first Wednesday of the month, and most of us knows what that means ... Yet, another, INSECURE WRITERS SUPPORT GROUP.... very good. Hopefully we all remembered. The months are just FLYING by and before you know it, it's time for another IWSG post!

This wonderful group was started by the AMAZING Alex J. Cavanaugh.... WHO? is there anyone WHO DOESN'T know Alex? LOL. He is a force to be reckoned with in the blogosphere, that's for sure.

But, before I get into my featured post, I'd like to thank L.Diane Wolfe for her fantastic health tips on Monday's post. (if you haven't seen it, just scroll down.) The response was awesome and L.Diane checked in throughout the past few days to comment on everyone's comments.

I am really humbled how much you are all enjoying the health and fitness posts. Staying healthy is something WE all need to do so that we will are able to take care of our families, friends, and WRITING! Yes, we all slip from time-to-time ... we are human, after all. But as long as we catch it before it's too late, we will manage to keep ahead of it. Many of us are over thirty and for this we REALLY must be aware of our health. NEVER take it for granted.

On October fifteenth I will be the featured Health and fitness adviser... Hmmmm. Beware, I am far worse than any of my guest bloggers. LOL. And don't forget to drop me an email if you'd like to write about your health and fitness regime. WE ALL want to know, so we can keep learning to stay healthy.

Okay, now for my ISWG post ...

As you can see from the title I want to touch on the DREADED rejections. This week I had THREE! SO not fun. I had just recently finished my final edit on my Y/A edgy contemporary novel, The Blinded Gardener.

When I first started to query I hit pay dirt right away: A publisher request for a full AND an agent request for a full. I was on a high.... but only for a split second.  Two months later the publisher sent me an amazing rejection. One I will always remember because she LOVED the novel, but it wasn't romantic enough for them. Oh, well, it could have been MUCH worse.

The agent .... now six months and three follow-up emails later has sent me NO response. I'm sorry, that to me is just plain RUDE... I don't care HOW busy you are, if you request a novel, at least acknowledge it with something. I am still waiting .... for any response.

It's been about seven months and this week I had sent out three new queries. BUMMER,,,, I thought I had a great query letter, but now I am questioning it, So a bit of insecurity about that.

As you all know I am not one to dwell on ANYTHING negative, so I will curse under my breath and carry on. A new week is coming and there are a fresh load of agents to attack... I NEVER give up. LOL. AND... neither should any of you!

For those of you who are on the query circuit like me, don't let the rejections get to you. Print them out, shred them up, and throw them into the air like confetti. Dance around a bit and get your daily exercise...  Hey, how cool would that be? We can call it the "Writers Pitch" ...  lol... Love the irony of this one... What a great stress releaser! Normally we tense up with pitches, this way ... HA! WE get even!

I hope that made you laugh. I'm certainly smiling right now... See Alex, we can even solve our own anxiety... LOOK what you've started here.

How do you handle a rejection letter. Over the past few years blogging I have read some pretty interesting stories on this subject, so let us know yours.

Well, that's about all i've got to say except HAPPY HUMP DAY!

Monday, October 1, 2012


Happy October 1st everyone!

With the a crisp chill in the air, Fall has arrived to the northern states. Golden, russet, and burnt orange are ablaze!

What better time than now to get into eating healthy and creating a fitness program. VERY soon the temps will drop and the holiday goodies will DESCEND upon us like locusts ...

With WAY too many temptations to ignore, we will pick a little here and a litter there and before we know it TEN POUNDS! Don't let this happen to you ...

My special guest and blogger friend, L. Diane Wolfe is visiting me here today with some great tips on how to eat healthy anytime. Start now and avoid the pitfalls later! LOL.

I know I learned a few good tips from reading her post and so will you. Please welcome, L. Diane everyone. You will be pleased to meet her, if you don't know her already.

Healthy Eating

Eating healthy isn’t just a challenge for writers. It’s a challenge for everyone. It’s easier to grab fast food, a packaged/frozen/canned meal, or store-bought snacks. Unfortunately, most contain a high amount of calories and fat. Food companies have conducted tests and know that the most appealing flavors are sweet and fatty. That’s why everything that’s bad for you tastes so good.

Healthy eating means making smart choices. Moderation is key. So is eating a variety of foods. It has to be a complete lifestyle change. This is why diets fail. Cutting back for a month just means that when we go back to eating normal, we’ll put the weight on again. And extreme diets such as the protein diet do more damage than good. The changes we make in the way we eat need to be permanent and healthy.

Not only will eating better help with weight control, it will eliminate potential health problems. Most debilitating diseases such as diabetes and heart problems can be avoided by eating right. A healthy diet can prevent you from getting sick, too. I’m a vegan (no animal products at all) for many reasons, including my health, but even I have to watch what I eat.

Often it’s the small things that make the biggest difference. We don’t have to change everything - just start changing a couple things each week. Even just skipping one can of soda every day saves 150 calories. One of the most effective things we can do is to consume a lot more water, as our hunger is usually a sign of thirst instead. Adding exercise not only makes us healthier, but it accelerates weight loss. And healthy eating reduces our chances of getting sick.

Below is a list of healthy alternatives:

Regular milk - lowfat milk (not skim - too high in protein) or light soy milk

Sugar - Splenda

Ice cream - fruit smoothies (made with fruit, ice water, Splenda, and ice cubes)

Cheese - low fat cheese, soy cheese (just as fatty but soy is very good for your health,) or just cut back the serving size.

Potato chips - baked chips, lowfat chips, or Pretzels

Pizza out - make your own and control both fat and contents

Ground beef - ground chicken or turkey or soy beef crumbles (Boca brand is very low in fat)

Dressings - go for light, such as Ken’s Light Caesar. (Fat free is tasteless.)

Condiments - BBQ sauce has a lot of sugar and calories, but mustard has virtually none

Butter - Smart Balance Light Spread or a butter spray

Bread - look for light varieties (Carbs are NOT your enemy! Breads just pack a lot of calories.)

Pancake syrup - look for sugar free. Tastes just as good and only 25% of the calories.

Snacks - look for lighter, baked crackers. Eat fruit and veggies. (Watch the olives and avocados though - lots of fat.)

Dark sodas - switch to water, flavored water, or clear diets such as Diet Cherry 7UP. (Something in dark sodas, even diet sodas, prevents weight loss. And they are nothing but empty calories. Even a beer or glass of wine contains some nutritional value!)

With all meals and snacks - watch your portions! Most people consume double portions without even realizing it.

Does eating healthy make a difference? I live in the South, home of deep fried everything. Yet because I choose to eat healthy, I’m only 120 pounds and a size 2. And I almost never get sick. Not bad for a woman in her mid-forties, huh?

Now, what are you waiting for?

L. Diane Wolfe
Professional Speaker & Author

Known as “Spunk On A Stick,” Wolfe is a member of the NSA and a motivational speaker. “Overcoming Obstacles With SPUNK! The Keys to Leadership & Goal-Setting”, ties all of her goal-setting and leadership seminar’s information together into one complete, enthusiastic package. She also conducts seminars on book publishing and promoting, and assists writers through her author services. Her YA series, The Circle of Friends, features morally grounded, positive stories that appeal to both teens and concerned parents. Wolfe travels extensively for media interviews and speaking engagements, maintains a dozen websites & blogs, and contributes to several other sites and newsletters.

Thanks for joining us today L. Diane. It has been a great pleasure having you visit my blog! 

My special guest next month will be our greatest pal, Alex J. Cavanaugh. He will enlighten us on how he stays in shape between ALL the INSANE time he spends blogging. How does he do it? Does anyone know?LOL.

Yes, everyone this health and fitness feature will be bi monthly. In two weeks I will be posting a few tips of my own, so mark it on your calendar. The first and third Monday of every month.

I hope you enjoyed today's post. If any of you have some great health or fitness tips and would like to be a guest blogger PLEASE feel free to contact me. This is a feature I feel needs to be posted often. We all need reminders to get of our butts and MOVE as well as eat right.

Have a great day everyone. See you on Wednesday for Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support group. Thursday a SURPRISE  ... and on Friday for another fun prompt for Romantic Friday Writers. A very exciting week at In Time ... this week. I hope to see you all.