24 October 2014

No NaNoWriMo for This Writer (And Here's Why)

In just about a week or so, writer's everywhere will be giving up showers, eating, and blissful reading time to hit the 50,000 word mark for their potential novel in honor of National Novel Writing Month.

I've tried NaNoWriMo in the past and it hasn't worked out for me. First of all, lately, I've gotten more interest and involved in writing short stories. They don't have the same all encompassing quality working on a novel does, which I do miss sometimes, but I love the tightened quality of a short story.

But most of all, my biggest weakness right now isn't racing to finish a first draft. My biggest weakness is editing and rewriting. Getting critiqued and rewriting. Submitting, being rejected, and rewriting. Do you see a common thread here? I have the first draft part of things down. The huge chunk of finished, but not typed, short stories proves that.

So I will dedicate my November to not a first draft but to buckling down and actually getting stories typed, edited, submitted, rewritten, and repeat.

Will you be taking part in this year's NaNoWriMo? Or will you be pursuing a different challenge?  

18 October 2014

Read My Published Poem 'Immortality' - Featured on The Voices Project

I've had so much going on lately that I forget to share my published poem with you all! It was published about a month ago on The Voices Project. It was my first publishing success and I am happy to say that I've printed out the poem from their website and taped it to my bedroom wall next to a newly posted sign that says, "PUBLISHED." (You don't know how happy I am to have that on my wall now!)

Anyways, I want to invite you to read my poem and let me know what you think. Follow this link to read Immortality by Nicole Pyles.

17 October 2014

Enter to Win Coffee by Aroma Ridge [Giveaway Ends 10/30]

Looking for coffee to add to your kitchen cabinet? Enter to win coffee made by Aroma Ridge featured on my blog Fancy That!

Visit this link to purchase the Baba Roast and Mama Roast blends from Aroma Ridge. Visit this link to purchase the Black Tea by Aroma Ridge.

You can also follow Aroma Ridge on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Enter quickly via Rafflecopter below. Contest ends 10/30.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

08 October 2014

Yell and Shout, Cry and Pout - Learning About Emotions [Children's Book Review]

I purposely chose this book to review for the very subject that it handles. Yell and Shout, Cry and Pout by Peggy Krugertietz, Ph. D talks about emotions and what these emotions feel like and situations you may actually feel them.

About the Book:

Yell and Shout, Cry and Pout: A Kid's Guide to Feelings is an essential guidebook for adults in steering children through the confusing behaviors that emotions evoke. When you understand the purpose of emotions, behavior becomes understandable. Each of the eight emotions is clearly defined thorough vignettes and illustrations, keeping both adult and child captivated, thus creating an opportune time for discussion. By recognizing that all humans experience these emotions throughout their lives, the book provides a true sense of comfort. Emotions are not to be shunned, but rather embraced and explained to provide a positive development environment for all children.

In My Opinion

My mom and I have talked a LOT about how important it is for kids to learn about emotions and learn how to handle them.  We both read this book and both of us agree that this should be in every single classroom. 

Dr. Peggy Kruger Tietz
What I enjoyed most about this book is that it truly doesn't make emotions too complicated or too scary. We all feel angry and sad and afraid sometimes, and discussing these emotions are so important!  This book will generate discussions in your home with your child about emotions. It will get you talking about "what do YOU do when you feel such-and-such an emotion." 

About the Author

Dr. Peggy Kruger Tietz is a licensed psychologist and maintains a private practice in Austin, Texas. She sees a wide range of children with normal developmental problems as well as children who have experienced trauma. Her Ph.D is in developmental psychology from Bryn Mawr College. Before entering private practice Dr. Tietz treated children in multiple settings, such as family service agencies and foster care. Dr. Tietz, trained at the Family Institute of Philadelphia, and then taught there. She specializes in seeing children individually, as well as, with their families. She has advanced training in Play Therapy as well as being a certified practitioner of EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, for children and adults). She has conducted workshops on parenting, sibling relationships, and emotional literacy.

Her latest book is the nonfiction/psychoeducational book, Yell and Shout, Cry and Pout: A Kid’s Guide to Feelings.

For More Information about the Author

Visit Peggy Kruger Tietz’s website.
Connect with Peggy on Facebook and Twitter.
For More Information about the Book

Yell and Shout, Cry and Pout: A Kid’s Guide to Feelings is available at Amazon.
Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

02 October 2014

My Thoughts on Passwords (And Who Won the iPad Mini?)

Talking about passwords has made me very conscious of my online security. One of the key pieces of information I learned through the process of talking about this and listening to your advice is basically staying "in the know" about the newest dangers impacting your security.

I find that staying active online and keeping informed through either word of mouth, social media, or national news on what accounts may be at risk. I have so many different online accounts that keeping up to date with everyone is so hard. That's why I was so excited to hear about F-Secure KEY and the ability to have at least one central place (aside from the notebook in my purse) to keep passwords (and keep them secure).

I also wanted to share with you an infographic that talks about passwords and keeping your information secure (and away from prying eyes)! (Click the image below to see a larger version!)

I highly recommend you download the app (or the desktop app) and experience the latest technology in online security. You can download the app here.

Download KEY on Android/iOS
Android: Go to Menu-Help- Enter PREMIUM VOUCHER
iOS: Help Menu- Promotional Code
*After redeeming offer on mobile device PREMIUM works on PC/Mac as well

Last, but certainly not least, I wanted to announce the winner of the iPad Mini giveaway - Amanda S from Massachusetts! The winner has already been contacted (and the info is now displayed on the Rafflecopter Widget).

Congrats to Amanda and thanks to everyone who entered!

This is a sponsored post for which I will receive compensation. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. 

25 September 2014

Enter to Win an iPad Mini [Courtesy of F-Secure KEY] [Ends 10/1]

Is your online security THIS secure?
This is a sponsored post for which I will receive compensation. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Recently I talked about my discovery of F-Secure KEY and how important it is for your personal security online. It safely saves your password information on the app (and desktop app) and provides you with excellent password ideas.

I say 'excellent password ideas' as if I'm talking about a plot generating app, I know. But I get so obsessive about figuring out new password methods. I won't tell you my recent method, because I still use it, but if trying to figure out a new password is a little like trying to title your novel, you need this app.

And because F-Secure KEY is so excited about their new launch, I get to giveaway an iPad Mini for one of my lucky readers! I'm so excited for you!!

It is a 16 GB iPad Mini (Wifi capable) and I know you want this and I want you to get this!

Before you enter though, I highly recommend you download the F-Secure KEY app following the guidelines I listed below -


Redeem code:
Download KEY on Android/iOS
Android: Go to Menu-Help- Enter PREMIUM VOUCHER
iOS: Help Menu- Promotional Code
*After redeeming offer on mobile device PREMIUM works on PC/Mac as well

NOW, enter this amazing giveaway! Giveaway ends on 10/1.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored post for which I will receive compensation. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. 

15 September 2014

Are You Open to the Power of Your Heart? #PoweroftheHeart [Book Review]

I recently received the book "Power of the Heart" by Baptist De Pape, which features content from the amazing spiritual leaders of our time. Featuring advice and reflection from Maya Angelou, Deepak Chopra, Jane Goodall, and so many more, this book will lead you back to the core, back to the heart of things, of who you are.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will be writing posts and reflections about the book and my own discoveries and insight while reading this book. I highly recommend you pre-order your copy, which you can do by visiting this link here.

One of the exercises in the book is called, "CONTEMPLATION: Walking in Silence."

The exercise instructs you to take a walk somewhere, around your neighborhood or a nearby park, in order to quiet your mind and listen to your "heart's voice." 

Once you are ready, you ask your heart,  "What do you want me to know?"

As a writer, this type of contemplation is so important to the writing process. I find when I'm blocked or if I'm trying to figure out a direction for a character or I'm trying to understand meaning of a poem I've written, so I can revise better, allowing my own brain to shut down and searching my heart for a direction can be so enlightening. For me, this is most especially important with poetry as this writing carries an understanding that I can only truly know by connecting with my heart and find out what it knows. 

One quote by Deepak Chopra from the book stood out to me -

"It's an old Indian story that God wanted to hide the truth and said, 'I want to make it interesting for people and the one place I want to put it in is their hearts, because they look everywhere else, only to discover later that the truth is in their hearts.'"

I'm only on page 50 and can't wait to share with you more about what I am reading. So far, I love the insights that Deepak Chopra gives throughout the book. 

To pre-order your copy visit the book's website PoweroftheHeart.com. Make sure to follow the book's Twitter page and like the book's Facebook page as well.

This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks and the Power of the Heart. 

Anyone Else Tired of Changing (And Remembering) Their Password?

With all of the hacking going on, whether it's online banking, emails, or social networking sites, the passwords we select are becoming more and more important. We all know that we shouldn't select "password" as our password, but as creative as I think I am, it's getting harder and harder to think of something unique for every new account I have to create (or for every time that I have to go in and change my password).

I'm partnering up with F-Secure to bring you a new app (as well as free software you can download to your computer) that will help all of us with problem.

The benefits I'm already finding by downloading this software -

1) Easy download.

This took me less than a couple of minutes to download and it didn't overwhelm my computer. I know the last thing you need is any additional security software, but I promise you this won't interfere with a thing and it will be a seamless process.

2) Easy to add password information.

I downloaded the PC version and I thought it was really simple to use. That is one key factor into getting me into using software like this - if it's easy to figure out, I'm more than likely to stay with it.

3) News alerts.

There are news alerts featured in the software that give you a head's up every time there is (yet another) data vulnerability, hacking alert, or anything that may put your information at risk.

4) Password generator.

I think this is the best feature of all - the password generator. I think this is the most important feature on the software - not only will it be easy to figure out what these passwords are (thanks to this software safely storing your information), you now can easily get secure passwords that aren't easily hacked. No more "password" passwords any longer! We can do so much better than that people.

This is just the beginning of course - there are so many more features to find with this software! You can download this for free too. There is a paid version and the benefit is that you can sync across devices (so, download to your PC and smartphone and you can sync up the passwords you have saved).

For me, I usually scribble down passwords into a notebook and this app is a lot better for me to use. I also don't have to worry about what will happen if I lose my notebook. Plus this is a lot safer than just asking Google Chrome to remember passwords for you.

So join me in this venture to get ourselves more secure online, download the F-Secure KEY app or software, by visiting this link. For more information about F-Secure, I highly recommend checking out this particular link that discusses their safety and how your information is secure.

Best of all, you get to try out the PREMIUM version for two months - free. Just use the code and follow the instructions below -


Redeem code:
Download KEY on Android/iOS
Android: Go to Menu-Help- Enter PREMIUM VOUCHER
iOS: Help Menu- Promotional Code
*After redeeming offer on mobile device PREMIUM works on PC/Mac as well

Has your account information ever been hacked into? Do you have any tips or tricks into thinking up new passwords? 

Download F-Secure Key.

This is a sponsored post for which I will receive compensation. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

13 September 2014

Enter to Win Mrs. Renfro's Salsa!

If you are in the mood for great tasting salsa made of excellent ingredients, check out my review of Mrs. Renfro's Salsa over at Fancy That!.

Or if you just want to take the moment to enter to win, use the Rafflecopter widget below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

04 September 2014

13 Literary Characters I'd Like to See on 'Dancing With the Stars'

We all know that the purpose of Dancing With the Stars is to turn around the career of a once-was celebrity or improve the career of a D-list celebrity. This means that you will have stars such as Sara Evans (a country singer I loved as a teenager, but never hear about anymore), Jerry Springer (think D-list), Joey Fatone (former boy band member), Rob Kardashian (D-lister),  and Melissa Gilbert (I used to love watching Touched by an Angel and Little House on the Prairie).

To be honest I don't think I've watched an entire season of this show, except I may have caught a few episodes at the gym, circa Kirstie Alley season. So, this made me think about the literary characters I'd like to see on Dancing With the Stars. I thought I would only choose five characters, but found out that Dancing with the Stars chooses 13 celebrities on their show. I figured it was only right I choose 13. So, ladies and gentleman, this is my dream cast of thirteen for our Literary Dancing With the Stars:

1) The Woman in Black

I chose this character because there is a Woman in Black 2 movie coming out soon and I figured what better way to improve the status of this character by casting her in a glitsy glammy television show! Although this may be troublesome for any of the kiddos watching.

2) Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice.

I prefer the Colin Firth version of Mr. Darcy.

I really think putting this out-of-the-spotlight character into Dancing With the Stars may be the best thing to happen for faux literary television.  I wasn't a huge fan of this particular book, but I think I may find a new interest in Mr. Darcy if I could see him doing the tango.

3) Nurse from Romeo and Juliet

In Romeo and Juliet, the Nurse always seemed to cast a joyful light into the scenes, and I enjoyed it every time she appeared. Plus with the Woman in Black dancing around it may be a good idea to have someone with medical skills on hand.

4) Ford Prefect from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

If you haven't read this book, you must. I still keep meaning to read the second one. I think we need a bit of new blood into our Dancing With the Stars cast members and Ford Prefect, the hitchhiking alien from the book, would make a perfect (or prefect, hehe) addition.

5) Matilda 

I'm thinking we all need to see what this young, vibrant character is doing these days! So let's bring her back and have her work her magic on this literary season of Dancing With the Stars! Plus this is for nostalgic purposes as this was a book I read as a kid and I loved it!

6) Nancy Drew

I chose the book cover because I didn't like the actress who played her in the movie.

Just in case The Woman in Black goes after Matilda, I think Nancy Drew needs to be on the case and ready to investigate the mysterious happenings that could go on. Plus, I want to know if the girl can dance.

7) Allie from The Notebook

Casting Allie from The Notebook may be a fantastic idea, especially because I think that I could totally see her going for Mr. Darcy (hey, this is my daydream and if I want to see her and Mr. Darcy as a couple I can). Plus she's from that whole era of knowing all those fancy formal dance steps. She'd totally kick butt!

8) Aragorn from Lord of the Rings

I have a long running crush on this character, and if it was entirely up to me, I would have him fall in love with me while I was hanging out on the set of this literary Dancing With the Stars. Move over Elven queen, he's my man.

9) Carrie

Granted this may be an unfair casting choice, considering her ability to move things with her mind, but wouldn't that make this entire show that much more fun?

10) Hannibal Lecter

Another potentially bad choice, and what more awkward dance moves to see but with a guy that needs a mouth cage, but we all want to see what he can cook up on the dance floor, right?

11) Anne of Green Gables

Another childhood revival! Let's bring her career back to life and see what else this spunky redhead can do!

12)  Pennywise the Dancing Clown from It

I mean we don't want just ONE redhead on the set, right? Plus, Hannibal Lecter needs a friend and kindred terrifying spirit. I don't want anyone feeling left out.

13) Rosemary's Baby

No, the actual baby. I mean, I'm sure the little one has grown up by now. Wouldn't it be charming to see him dance?

14) Oliver Twist

It's time for our childhood's favorite literary orphan to show off his footwork! Cast the older version of this character and see what quick footwork he can come up with - possibly that quick footwork might be him running in fear because these casting choices are turning a bit weird, right?

15) Mary Poppins

I think Mary Poppins would round out this cast nicely. Plus, she's a nice contrast to The Woman in Black and she'll probably be able to keep It and Hannibal Lecter in line.

That's my star cast! Which literary character would you like to see on Dancing With the Stars?
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