Beautiful Bloom #1Word #WriteorDie

Blooms in Mahabaleshwar

A photo posted by Corinne Rodrigues (@corinnerodrigues78) on Mar 13, 2015 at 10:27am PDT


It’s hard not to stop and admire beauty. And thanks to the ubiquitous mobile cameras, it only takes a minute to snap beautiful blooms like this to savour at a later date. Flowers are flowers and we would be silly to compare them and say ‘This one more beautiful than that.’

Beauty, said my favourite poet, is in the eyes of the beholder. I begin to think of how we behold ourselves. Do we think of ourselves as beautiful? And I don’t just mean on the outside – but inside too. How much do we value ourselves? Do we think we’re worth cherishing? Do we think we worth our own time?

How often we trample upon our own self-worth by selling ourselves short. Too often we compare ourselves to others and feel that we’re not good enough. How often we fail to enjoy and savour being our own kind of beautiful.

Today I invite you to focus on appreciating and cherishing the beautiful bloom that is YOU.

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I’m linking in to The One Word Linkup is hosted by Lisa of The Golden Spoons, Janine of Confessions of a Mommyholic, and Marcia of Blogitudes
1) Choose one of the following words. 2) Write a post. 3) Link up!
(The Link up goes live at 6:00am EST on Wednesdays and closes at 9:00pm EST on Thursdays.)
This weeks prompt choices are: Lucky & Beauty


Also linking in to Write or Die Wednesdays hosted by Mia of The Chronicles of Chaos and Vashelle of Shelly’s Cabaret a weekly creative writing prompt. This week’s prompt is: Bloom. Thank you, Mackenzie Glanville for pointing me in their direction!

A Sparrow in Terezin Giveaway Basket

This is a book I’m currently reading. A review will follow at the end of this month. But I didn’t want to pass up on giving you an opportunity for a giveaway.

Sparrow Terezin Kristy CambronBound together across time, two women will discover a powerful connection in Kristy Cambron‘s new book, A Sparrow in Terezin. Connecting across a century through one little girl, a Holocaust survivor with a foot in each world, two women will discover a kinship that springs even in the darkest of times. In this tale of hope and survival, Sera and Kája must cling to the faith that sustains and fight to protect all they hold dear—even if it means placing their own futures on the line.

Kristy is celebrating by giving away a basket filled with goodies inspired by her new book!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A set of poppy notecards
  • A poppy pin
  • A copy of I Never Saw Another Butterfly
  • A copy of the Mrs. Miniver DVD
  • Literary tea bags
  • Tumbler
  • A copy of A Sparrow in Terezin
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Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 28th. Winner will be announced April 29th on Kristy’s blog.

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This giveaway is for readers in the US.


Cancelled Weddings #MicroblogMondays

Cancelled Weddings?

I won’t ever forget the evening and the utter disbelief we experienced when my Dad came home from the wedding of a friend’s son and told us that the wedding was cancelled. Dad had been asked to raise the toast at the reception that followed. The plan was for him attend the Church ceremony and then pick up my mother to take her for the reception. Instead, he came home and told us how the Parish Priest had received an anonymous phone call telling him that the bride’s father was coercing her into marriage. When the priest asked the girl if this was true, she said that her father was trying to keep her away from marrying her boyfriend and had arranged this marriage for her!!

Shocking? Yes. Emotionally draining for all parties concerned, too.

But spare a moment to think about the practical side of it. Cancelling the hall. Paying off the caterer. Paying off the band. Some friends gave us details of how they had to run about arranging for the catered food to be dropped off at various charities late into the night!


I thought of this when I read about another cancelled wedding recently via ABC News.

When Willie and Carol Fowler’s only daughter cancelled her wedding 40 days before she was set to walk down the aisle, the parents were faced with a venue, food and entertainment that had all been paid for.

But instead of cancelling everything and losing their deposits, they decided to change the guest list – to 200 homeless people. Read more here.

Have you ever been remotely connected with a cancelled wedding?


Linking in to the Stirrup Queens’ #MicroblogMondays

Do You Have a Mantra To Keep Calm #1Word

“Often our lives become so driven that we are moving through our moments to get to better ones at some later point. We live to check things off our to-do list, then fall into bed exhausted at the end of the day, only to jump up the next morning to get on the treadmill once again,” writes mindfulness expert Jon Kabat-Zinn. I couldn’t think of a better way to describe how activity driven we have all become.

We certainly need ways to keep calm in the midst of our hectic lives. In our constant pursuit of perfection, we often put pressure on ourselves. We think we have the day all planned and set up and then something will come up that puts us off course! Someone irritates us and all hell breaks loose. The electricity goes off and all our plans to complete some work go awry.

Then there are special days – job interviews, pitching for a contract, undergoing a surgery, writing an exam, waiting for test results…Days when we need to keep calm.

Before embarking on important undertakings, sit quietly, calm your senses and thoughts, and meditate deeply. You will then be guided by the great creative power of Spirit. After that you should utilize all necessary material means to achieve your goal. – Paramahansa Yogananda


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Most mornings I start with gratitude and surrender. I can’t tell you how much of a difference they make to the way I look at the day ahead!

My ‘morning mantras’ go something like this:

  • I am grateful for this day and all that it will bring.
  • I’m open and receptive to all the joy and abundance of the Universe.
  • This day will bring only good things my way.

When faced with pressure situations or bad ‘things’ happening I often fall back on this mantra:

  • Everything works for good in my life.
  • I’m learning something from this experience.
  • Thank you (to the ‘Great Being Upstairs’) for this situation. I know you are in control.

Do you have a mantra to keep calm?

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I’ve been doing The One Word Linkup for a few weeks now and thought I’d have to give it a miss since I’m doing the A to Z challenge on Everyday Gyaan this month. However, I couldn’t resist writing a post and decided to revive this blog for that! The One Word Linkup is hosted by Lisa of The Golden Spoons, Janine of Confessions of a Mommyholic, and Marcia of Blogitudes. This week’s prompt choices are: Faded & Calm. I chose ‘calm’.

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Beyond All Dreams Kindle Fire Giveaway

Beyond All Dreams

Beyond All Dreams by Elizabeth Campden

Is bringing the truth to light worth risking all they’ve ever dreamed for their futures?

Anna O’Brien leads a predictable and quiet life as a map librarian at the illustrious Library of Congress until she stumbles across the baffling mystery of a ship disappeared at sea. Thwarted in her attempts to uncover information, her determination outweighs her shyness and she turns to a dashing congressman for help.

Luke Callahan was one of the nation’s most powerful congressmen before his promising career was shadowed in scandal. Eager to share in a new cause and intrigued by the winsome librarian, he joins forces with Anna to solve the mystery of the lost ship. Opposites in every way, Anna and Luke are unexpectedly drawn to each other despite the strict rules forbidding Anna from any romantic entanglements with members of Congress.

Travel back in time to the U.S. Capitol and the Library of Congress in Elizabeth Camden’s newest release, Beyond All Dreams. From the gilded halls of the Capitol where powerful men shape the future of the nation, to the scholarly archives of the nation’s finest library, Anna and Luke are soon embroiled in secrets much bigger and more perilous than they ever imagined. Is bringing the truth to light worth risking all they’ve ever dreamed for their futures?

Elizabeth is celebrating the release of Beyond All Dreams with a Kindle giveaway and Facebook party on February 17.


One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire
  • One copy of Beyond All Dreams

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 2/17. Winner will be announced at Elizabeth’s 2/17 Beyond All Dreams Facebook author chat party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Elizabeth and historical fiction fans, as well as for the opportunity to win some great prizes!



RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 17th!