November Gratitude


Happy November, everyone! I can’t believe we’re here already! Halloween FLEW by in a whirlwind of costumes and candy and parties. The air has turned crisp (we even had our first snowfall here in Maine last night!) and as Thanksgiving nears, I’m filled with more and more with gratitude.

November is always a solid reminder to be thankful for all we have. And as hard as I try to extend that gratitude the whole year around, somehow, it always manages to slip away–ebbs and flows throughout the twelve months. I’ve always loved Thanksgiving. I loved that there were no gifts; it wasn’t filled with hours upon hours of wrapping presents or stressing about who you forgot to get something for this year (side note: two years in a row, I forgot to get my brother’s girlfriend a Christmas gift! OOPS.) Thanksgiving is about togetherness. It’s about sharing a meal and sharing love.

This year, I’ve been doing a lot more yoga. And for the month of November (and perhaps beyond), as I sit still on my mat, breathing deeply, I tell myself one thing I’m grateful for that day. But more importantly, I ask myself, how will I show that gratitude in my actions?

Today, I wanted to say THANK YOU to you! Because you, my readers, were in my thoughts today as I practiced yoga. Thank you for being here. Thank you for reading. Thank you for your support, encouragement, and feedback. Without you all, I’m simply a writer. But with you and because of you? I’m an author.

And for that, I will be eternally grateful.

A Free Little Something…

We ALL love free stuff, am I right? Well, for those who haven’t heard, I’ve put together a couple short videos on how to photograph a book flat lay. You can see Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

And TONIGHT at 5:30PM EST, I’ll be over on my Facebook Page doing a live video and answering your photography questions (or, hell, if you just want to discuss YOUNGER, I’m fine with that too!). And as a thank you for watching and tuning in, I’m giving you this image to use for FREE on your social media. No need to credit me, no need to tag me. Just use as you like and enjoy! It’s my gift to you!

Save the image by right clicking on it and I hope to see you tonight at 5:30pm!

How to Photograph a Book Flatlay in Six Steps (Part 1)

Friends! I’m trying something new. And awkward. And it makes me super nervous (hello vulnerability!), to put myself out there in a series of videos like this, but ultimately, I think it’s something a LOT of us want to know and see! So stick with me if you want to learn how to take Social Media Worthy Photographs!

You know that feeling? The one where you’re standing with your phone in one hand and your book in the other, totally at a loss for how to take a decent picture of it? You know you need to. You need a decent photograph to post to social media with your review/book launch/etc. And you want to make it look pretty. But you just don’t know where to begin?
You are NOT alone!

You may or may not know that in my previous life (well, let’s be honest, it’s still my current life, too!) I was a professional photographer. I received my BFA in photography. Owned my own portrait studio. Photographed food for a This Not That diet book. And worked for companies such as Disney, Nickelodeon, and Animal Fair Magazine.

I want to share what I know with you. If you’re a reader, blogger, or author who is craving to know how to take better flatlays (or how to photograph them at all!), then this 3-Part Video Series on How to Photograph A Book Flatlay in Six Simple Steps is for YOU.

I’m here to tell you how! With my Six Simple Steps to Photograph a Book Flatlay, you’ll get that nudge in the right direction and learn how to style and photograph your books for social media.

Here’s Part One: Styling! And join me next week for Part Two: Photography Fundamentals.
And I’ll be doing a Q&A on my Facebook page, so pop over there to follow the fun and chime in with questions of your own!

Interview with the Wonderful Cake-Loving Daisy Prescott

I’m not sure if you all know of the amazing, talented, lovely Daisy Prescott Author, but she is FABULOUS. And if you don’t know her, you should! To help you get familiar with her, she graciously agreed to stop in today and answer some questions!

Hey Daisy! Thanks for popping in today, especially with the craziness of a new release! I’ve just got a few questions for ya…
Thanks for having me stop by, Katana! Releases are always crazy, aren’t they? I’m happy to take a break from the madness and chat with you.

We all love a good, ugly sob fest. What was the first book that made you cry?
Where the Red Fern Grows. We read it as a class in fourth grade and I remember sobbing my eyes out at the end. I’ll never get over Big Dan and Little Ann. Still scarred.

UM, that’s a fantastic answer. I too am stilled scarred from that dang book! (I blame Mr. Weaver from 5th grade!) So, next question. When you write, do you sit at a desk? A comfy chair? Or do you go out to a coffee shop?
It’s weird, but I can’t write while sitting at a desk. Reminds me too much of being at a job.
Most days I sit on the couch in the living room or if I’m stuck, in a comfy chair by the windows in our dining room. Maybe once a week I go to a local cafe to write, especially if I’m on deadline and can’t be trusted with WiFi access.


Okay, it’s official. We are writing spirit animals because I cannot write at a desk either! So, Wild for You is the third book in your Love with Altitude series and features rodeo-star, Justin Garrison and city girl, Zoe Saragossa. Have your ever been to a rodeo? (Or a honky-Tonk and ridden a mechanical bull?)
I’ve never ridden a mechanical bull. I think I’d last 1.2 seconds! I have been to a rodeo. My husband and I went to rodeo in Spokane when we were dating. I’d love to go to the Snowmass Rodeo someday after using it as inspiration for Wild for You.

Last question! If you could only eat one type of food the rest of your life, what would it be?
My first answer would be cake. Channeling cake lover Zoe, there are so many types of cake it would never get boring. Although, I’m not sure if living on cake would be the healthiest lifestyle choice. If we’re talking a broader type of food, Mexican. I grew up eating Mexican food in San Diego multiple times a week and could happily eat it forever.

WHO DOESN’T LOVE CAKE!?? I have an obsession with wedding cake specifically (the flavor of love and happily ever after, I think!)

Thank you again for stopping in and taking time out of your busy schedule! For anyone interested in checking out Daisy’s incredibly awesome book, Wild for You (a standalone cowboy romance and book 3 in her Love with Altitude series), you can get it here on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2y3Dzn4

Other books in the series:
Next to You (Book 1): http://amzn.to/2hv3Fo6
Crazy Over You (Book 2): http://amzn.to/2xAD7vg

Clinging to those last days of Summer…

I don’t know about you, but even though I LOVE Autumn, I am clinging to these last days of summer (even if they’ve been rainy and chilly). Usually by this time of year, I’m ready for the change of leaves. Sweater weather. Maple lattes. But this year? It just didn’t feel long enough. So, tonight after work, I am whipping up my favorite summer cocktail, this Strawberry Pineapple Punch, and sitting out on my porch as the sun sets.

Anyone feel like joining me???

Strawberry Pineapple Punch
(This recipe makes a WHOLE bunch. Like… for a party!)

Ingredients

  • 4 cups pineapple juice, chilled
  • 1/2 cup white rum (or coconut rum)
  • 1 bottle (750mL) Prosecco, chilled
  • Frozen pineapple (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup frozen, pureed strawberries

Instructions

~Puree 1 cup of diced strawberries into the chilled pineapple juice
~Run through a strainer to remove most of the seeds
~ Pour pineapple juice, rum, and prosecco into a pitcher
~ Add frozen pineapple to keep it chilled. Serve the same day it’s made.
~Garnish with strawberry and pineapple slices

Yvonne’s Morning Watermelon Matcha Shake

Yvonne’s Morning Matcha Shake

Hey everyone! And happy National Watermelon Day! To celebrate, I have Yvonne (whose Happily Ever After you can find in my book HEALING YOU) here on my blog and she’s sharing her morning watermelon matcha shake. It’s one of my personal favorites!

 

From Yvonne:

I hate to admit this to everyone… but I’m actually very lazy in the kitchen. When I set my mind to it, I can be a pretty good cook. But I’m just so busy—with running the Maple Grove Animal Shelter, I barely have time to feed all the dogs and cats, let alone remember to cook something for myself! And let’s face it—for the longest time, it was hard to convince myself to cook a whole meal for just one person. But now that Steve and I are engaged, I’m enjoying our time in the kitchen more and more!

This recipe was one of my favorites from my single days and it still is! It’s quick to make (I usually prep the ingredients for it on Sunday for the whole whole week and I have this shake every morning before I go for my run. The prep is pretty simple as well. You just cut up the fruit and portion them into sandwich bags into the freezer. Then, just grab the ingredients and toss them in the blender!). When I have this for breakfast, I find myself able to focus for longer! Something about the matcha and chia seeds. It’s a superfood!

Hope you like it!

Ingredients

1 large banana, frozen
1 1/4 cups watermelon, frozen
1/2 cup almond milk

½ cup of greek yogurt
1 tsp chia seeds (optional)
1/2 – 1 tsp matcha powder*

*the matcha is actually optional, even though I love it. The watermelon-almond-banana shake on its own is quite fantastic.

This is a thick blend so you maybe have to add a few more splashes of almond milk to keep things moving!

Sweet Pea Hummus

Hey bookworms!!

I just turned in my latest Harrison Street Crew book to my editor and PHEW. Has it been a crazy couple of weeks! With moving to the new house (we’re STILL unpacking, y’all) and my deadline (did you see Simcoe’s note? hehe) along with our sad little trip to London that was canceled AND Sean signing at Free Comic Book Day… it’s just been a whirlwind. And I am exhausted. Amidst all this craziness, I always have a hard time eating healthy and finding the time to cook.

While on deadline, I made this sweet pea hummus which I swear I lived off of for a good couple of days! I ate it with fresh cut veggies–carrots and peppers for lunch. I used it as a side dish on my chicken for dinner. And I even spread some on my sandwiches for lunch.

It’s healthy, simple, and EASY to make! So, naturally, dear readers, I thought I’d share it with you. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 cups shelled peas, fresh or frozen
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh mint (spearmint)
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream (optional; I left this out because I was trying to limit my dairy)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Red Pepper Flakes (for spice, to taste)

    1) Sauté onions and garlic: (Do I really need to describe this? If you don’t know how to saute onions and garlic, I recommend you go check out Youtube real quick 😉  Anyway, add the chopped onion and sauté until soft and translucent, but not browned, about 4-5 minutes.

    2) Add peas and water, boil: (Again, pretty sure y’all know how to boil peas, but just in case!…) Add the peas and the water, cover and bring to a boil. Let this cook 5 minutes.

    3) Drain the Peas, Garlic, and Onions: I’m really not explaining this one.

    4) Purée in food processor: Put the peas and onions into the bowl of a food processor and add all the remaining ingredients. Pulse until you have a rough purée. Serve chilled.

A Note from Simcoe

Hey guys! It’s me… Simcoe. I’m here snuggling next to my mommy. She’s been on that flat, glowing screen thing a lot lately. I think you all call it a … laptop? Yeah, that’s what it is. A laptop. Anyway, she keeps talking about something called a deadline and murmuring to herself about how moving during a deadline was stupid.

She also forgot to feed me this morning. So all in all, I’m not a fan of this ‘deadline’ thing she keeps talking about. I even tried giving her my favorite ball this morning, but when I dropped it on the laptop thingy, she just tossed it aside. I don’t think she really knows the proper way to fetch. I’ll have to teach her another time.

Anyway, while she’s working, I thought I’d pop in and say hi and just tell you all she’ll be back soon!

Sexy Smiles – Charcoal Toothpaste

Sexy Smiles with Katana Collins & Danielle Eaton – Charcoal Toothpaste

Hey Bookworms! So, my girl Danielle Eaton and I decided to experiment with different (ie – disgusting) ways to whiten our teeth in this new Sexy Smiles Series… because nothing is as sexy as a beautiful smile. Am I right or am I right? 😉

In this first video, we try our hands at Activated Charcoal Powder toothpaste. It’s a bit like brushing with… well, watch to find out.

I Should Be…

Writing. I should be writing right now. But I’m not. Well, I guess you could argue I’m BLOGGING which is SORT OF writing, but I think my editor would argue with you considering this book is due in ::checks watch:: a couple of months.

It’s like my brain knows that my heart’s not into it, so every time I sit down and open that document, it wanders. It more than wanders…my damn brain breaks free of its leash and goes tearing through the neighborhood like an escaped dog.

This is how my brain works to avoid buckling down:
“It’s time to write, Kat. Write. Write. Sit down and use your fingers to move across the keyboard. Write. Wright. Wright brothers. Airplanes. Flying. Travel. Croatia–man, I want to go back to Croatia. I wonder how our friends that we met on our honeymoon are doing? She worked in PR for DSW. Oh, is DSW having any sales? Hm, no. Maybe Zappos has something. Oh, that’s right, free shipping. Oh, wait, now that I’ve bought something I should get rid of something. What’s in my closet? Awww, my monkey slippers! I love these things. Monkeys are adorable. I wish I could adopt a monkey…is that legal in Brooklyn?”

THIS IS HOW MY MIND WORKS. ::sigh:: So, anyway, time to get back to writing.