Saturday, March 24, 2018

Easter is Almost Here - Homemade Treats

Easter is just around the corner and it's so easy to decorate on a budget. 

All you need is a silicon mold and some chocolate. I use white chocolate to create Easter Eggs you can eat...even the shell. All you need to do is melt your chocolate and pour it into the molds. Then I put the molds into the refrigerator and let the chocolate  harden. Super simple and

Another thing you can do is make Easter baskets...with cupcakes.

This is another super simple way to make a fun party food and create a fantastic eye-candy at the same time. All you need is regular cupcake papers and pipe cleaners. I mix shredded coconut into the frosting to create my grass for my "Easter baskets" then I top the baskets with jelly beans. Really cute and  very tasty too.

Another fun thing to do is to take plastic Easter Eggs and stuff them into little yarn chickens. I  think these little chicks are so fun.


Thursday, March 15, 2018


There are different meanings for the word Dream. It can be the world we escape into when we  fall asleep or it can merely be a  wish...

Have you ever had a dream and wondered, "What does that mean?"


Have you wished you knew how to interpret your dreams? Well, did you know there are sites on the internet that say they can give you some insight into your dreams? Well, there are.

Just like this one: Dreamforth

I'm not saying Dreamforth is accurate or that I trust these types of sites, I'm just saying they're out there. And you might want to take a peek. I mean even if the site doesn't deliver or interpret your dream, it might give you a little insight into why you had the dream.

On another note, have you ever wondered if Dreams are merely a premonition of what's to come?

Well, here's one book that talks about a roundabout way (if you read it, let me know what you think of the story)

Can Dreams Come True? (Book One of the Cecily Taylor Series) by Krysten Lindsay Hager

Contemporary YA fiction

Pages: 224 pages


Cecily has always had a huge crush on singer Andrew Holiday and she wants to be an actress, so she tags along when her friend auditions for his new video. However, the director isn’t looking for an actress, but rather the girl next door—and so is Andrew. Cecily gets a part in the video and all of Andrew’s attention on the set. Her friend begins to see red and Cecily’s boyfriend is seeing green—as in major jealousy. A misunderstanding leaves Cecily and her boyfriend on the outs and Andrew hopes to pick up the pieces as he’s looking for someone more stable in his life than the models he’s dated. Soon Cecily begins to realize Andrew understands her more than her small-town boyfriend—but can her perfect love match really be her favorite rock star?

Excerpt 1:

I started to feel anxious after lunch. After all, I had been an Andrew fan for a long time, and even though I had seen him in person, this was a huge deal to get to meet him. What if he wasn’t what I had imagined? I didn’t expect him to fawn over me or anything, but what if he was rude or ignored me? It would kill my fantasy of him as being this sweet, quiet, sensitive songwriter who wore his heart on his sleeve while also being kind of a loner/rebel with just a touch of bad boy in him. Oh man, I would be crushed if he didn’t notice me or worse—if he ended up flirting with Harlow. 

In all his magazine interviews Andrew always said looks weren’t important to him, and what he noticed in a girl was if she was true to herself. He said he went for “bright girls who were sweet and easy to be with.” Now that I thought about it, that was the kind of fake crap magazines put out about all the teen celebrities. It was like when I saw Lawrence Claibourne, my favorite actor who claimed to be Mr. I’m-just-looking-for-a-sweetgirl-to-read-poetry-to on a red carpet with a model whose boobs were falling out of her dress and had overdone the lip fillers—I mean, you just knew he wasn’t into her for her personality. But Andrew wasn’t like Lawrence. Andrew seemed so sincere and deep. Lawrence had a smirk and you could tell he was a player, but Andrew seemed like he had been hurt and needed to find the right girl who he could open up to and learn to trust again. . .or at least that’s what he said in his last interview.

The final bell rang and my heart shot up to my throat. This was it. I was on my way to meet my crush. From now on, any dreams of him would be marred by the reality I was about to face.

Was it better to keep wondering what if and keep the fantasy alive or to go and actually meet him?

Excerpt 2:

I felt disloyal sharing my problems with Zach with another guy, but in some weird way it was like no one got me like Andrew did. Even though we had only known each other for a little over twenty-four hours, it was as if I had known him for ages. Although I guess it made sense seeing as it always seemed like he understood what I was going through whenever I listened to his music.

I ended up pouring out the whole gross story about how insecure I felt about Tanna and how I didn’t want to seem jealous, but I didn’t feel comfortable with Zach hanging out with her.

“I know you’re probably thinking, well, obviously her first serious boyfriend, how insecure and jealous can she be?” I said wishing I hadn’t opened my mouth.

“Nope, not at all. In fact, I was thinking this crap is why I don’t date more. What is it with our generation being so casual about stuff? Again, people call me old-fashioned, but I don’t think you and I are wrong to expect people not to hang out with their exes anymore. And if I’m old-fashioned, then why are my songs about this exact thing so popular? I can’t be that out of touch if people are relating to the lyrics, right?”

“Yeah, I think a lot of people want commitment deep down,” I said. “Or maybe I’m wrong. Maybe guys just want to date as many girls as possible and not settle down.”

“The media says I come off as this wounded guy as an act to get more female fans.”

I bit my lip. I had heard those rumors, too. In fact, at my old school, people made fun of me for falling for his fake image and said I was too naïve to see he was a player.

“Why are people so cynical?” he asked. “There was this article about me called, ‘Vulnerable or Vulgar: Is Holiday for Real?’”

I had read the article five times and then went online to read the outtakes from it, but all I said to him was, “Oh?”

“Yeah,” he said. “The journalist who interviewed me had an edge to him. The whole time I could tell he didn’t like me, and I almost wanted to call him out on it. I gave short answers and he labeled me, ‘moody and reclusive.’ Actually, I’d like to be reclusive, but I can’t get enough time off to do it,” he said laughing. “Being a recluse is just a dream at this point.”

I giggled. “It’s annoying how people just make snap judgements about you and they can put it out there.”

“I know, right? And if I’m having a bad day because I don’t feel good, nobody writes, ‘He had a sore throat and doesn’t feel like talking.’ No, they make it sound like I was being stuck up when all I wanted to do was go to bed and not die from the flu.”

Excerpt 3:

Andrew sat back and nodded. “Well, Dimitri got the song, you know? He understood what I was looking for—a relationship where two people understand each other on a spiritual level. You know, where their souls connect. Make sense?”

“Yeah, is that what you have with your girlfriend?” I asked hoping it didn’t look like I as phishing for info on who he was dating.

He shook his head. “Nah, I’ve never had anything like that before. But it’s the ultimate idea though, you know? How about you?”

“No, never,” I said and then I felt guilt wash over me. “I mean, I’ve had deep connections with people—just not what you’re talking about or what Dimitri said—the whole deep mystical thing.”

Andrew stared at me and I felt like he was looking into my soul. “Sometimes it feels like it’s impossible to get that connection with anybody. Or you think you’re halfway there and they say they get you, but then something happens and you know they weren’t as deep into it as you were—or at least as deep as you were hoping. That’s the inspiration for next song I’m working on. It’s about when you want to believe so badly that you have a soul connection, then something happens and you realize it was just another superficial relationship. That’s the title: Just Another Superficial Relationship.”

“Wow, I can’t wait to hear it.”

“I can sing you the chorus if you want,” he said.

Holding my breath, I tried to be cool and not squeal with delight that my favorite singer was about to not only sing for me, but let me hear an unreleased song. This was like a dream come true and it made me question if I hadn’t indeed fallen into the water and hit my head on some rocks, and was now either dreaming this in a coma somewhere or this was my own personal version of heaven. I felt guilty for inwardly gushing over Andrew when I had a boyfriend. But this wasn’t about me being interested in going out with Andrew. It would never happen anyway. This was just me meeting my crush who happened to be a singer, who I felt understood my feelings more than anyone else.

Andrew sang the chorus and a warmth washed over me. The song was perfect—the yearning, the longing—I had experienced all of it myself. It was like he had taken all my innermost thoughts and somehow put them into words.

“Amazing,” I said. My whole body was warm as my mind raced. Was I actually sitting here with him and having him trust me enough to share a new song? This was beyond anything I had dreamt of happening today.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Krysten Lindsay Hager writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends...Forever?, Next Door to a Star,  Landry in Like, Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2) and Dating the It Guy. True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book and the Dayton Book Expo Bestseller Award for childen/teens. Competing with the Star is a Readers' Favorite Book Award Finalist.
Krysten's work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Bellbrook Times, Springfield News-Sun, Grand Blanc View, Dayton Daily News and on the talk show Living Dayton.

Buy links:

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Have You Ever Wanted to Kill Someone...?

Of course I'm talking about Characters in your stories...
I did a presentation for Young Willamette Writers in Portland, Oregon and  thought I'd share my class notes with any other writers out there who might be interested.
Killing Your Characters

Workshop project:

Here are two options for you to choose between:

Think about Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen, or any Disney Princess.

1)      Now, take a few minutes to write what might have happened in the story if your favorite/main character had been killed off early in the book.


2)      Give three plot examples of how you could change the story with compelling narrative options for killing off your favorite character without ruining the story.

Writers have lots of different reasons for killing off their characters. But before we decide to kill anyone, we want to have a good reason to do it otherwise all we’re going to do is put your readers in a rage.

1)    Resurrections. Of course we want to create tension but not to the point of killing off characters and then having to bring them back to life – say with a dream sequence.

2)    ShockNADO or not another Shock Attack. Don’t simply kill off a character to create shock value. This will turn readers off and we want to keep them reading to the last page.

3)    Emotional Hostage. Don’t be a sociopath and kill for no reason. Any character’s death needs to be worth the cost. Readers are attached to the main character…or should be. So remember, no writer should kill off characters like a serial killer…for no reason. Make sure every death packs a punch that’s worth the price.

4)    Stop, Look and Listen. And make sure your other characters are in tune with the emotional timing. These characters are now not simply backup singers to your story. They are going to have to carry your show so make sure they take a moment to Stop…and process what has happened. Your minor characters are now the ones who will display the heartfelt reactions we are feeling from our loss.

5)    Make sure you have a Backup. I mean another character who can step into our Hero’s shoes. If there’s no other character for us to love, worry about or at least care for, we’re going to close the book and that’s the end of the story. Not a good way to end a story. We want our readers to want to read to the very last page. So, we have to give them a reason.  

There Are Good Reasons to Kill…Off  Characters.

1)    Remember the Alamo or at least the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. There would have been no story or plot without killing off a lot of wonderful main characters in this trilogy.

2)    No Guilt Over the Bad Guy No one cares if we kill off the bad guys but remember good guys die too and for our stories to ring true to our readers we have to have authenticity and sometimes our loved ones have to die.

3)    The Disney Delusion. We can’t always have a prince (or princess) ride to the rescue. Not every story has to have a happy ending. Sometimes the most heartfelt stories are the ones that stick with us long after we close the book. (The Lovely Bones, The Fault in Our Stars, and even the classic of The Diary of Anne Frank).

4)    James or even Jane Bond. Unless you want to tell an unrealistic story just for the pure fantasy or the excitement of the ride, we have to be honest with our characters and the way they live and/or die.

5)    Die with Dignity. If you do decide to kill off your character, the death needs to be a crucial part of the plot. Let your character have death with dignity. Whenever we lose a loved one, we want to make sure we understand what happened, how and why. Don’t let an emotional moment be lost by rushing through it. If it must be done, do it “write.”

 If you have any questions, let me know. And If you want to see what else I have to say about writing, check out my website or connect with me on Facebook.
If we were all the same, life would be boring.
Visit me on Facebook: Kimbra Kasch

Thursday, February 8, 2018


HEART is a program offered through Cascadia Behavioral Health that intends to start the conversation about mental health.

Heart uses art and weaves storytelling together to open up new opportunities for healing.

Cascadia Behavioral Health cares for the whole person.

Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare is the organization behind the Heart movement. The desire is to help women face mental health challenges through community-based programs, including peer-to-peer services. The intention is to teach people how to reach out and help each other.

At the Heart Gala on February 7th, Senior Director of Peer Wellness for Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare, Meghan Caughey talked about how art changed her life. She said art gives hope. And
Heart intends to offer this hope by highlighting the crossroad between art and health, with a focus on women.

The gala was a celebration and evening of sharing...while raising community awareness and perhaps  a little money for the program.

While you may think men are the ones who face trauma from war and are the people most effected by PTSD, the truth is women are more than twice as likely to suffer from mental health issues. Research is still out as to why this is but perhaps it has something to do with women living in a world where they are not in control. 

Statistics say that 80% of the personal impacts of war fall on women and children and between 16-50% of women will face violence in their lives.

Heart hopes to create an atmosphere of healing by building a circle of support for women dealing with mental health issues. The plan is to combine health, wellness and art to build strong peer support groups. And through art and storytelling, doors will open up to discussions about mental health that wouldn’t otherwise exist.

Monday, February 5, 2018

STOP Motion with Laika at The Portland Art Museum

Stop Motion is a type of animation and no one does it better than Laika with their award winning shows like Coraline:

With the creepy Other Mother who is a giant spider with  needle hands and horrible intentions.

But there are other awe...some shows Laika  has created, like the Box Trolls
And Paranorman
Kubo and the Two Strings
But if you want to see it for yourself,  visit The Portland Art Museum before the Laika  exhibit leaves in May and you miss the chance  to see how they animate life 

with beautiful bugs

To Fantastic Gardens

And don't  miss  the spectacular  settings they create

There's just so much to see,  you won't want to miss a thing because believe me,  it's out of this world.

At least we thought so....

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

I Eat Ugly - With Imperfect Produce

Did you know that 6 Billion lbs of produce go to waste each year in the United States Alone?

Well Imperfect Produce is trying to stop the waste of healthy food by bringing affordable fruits and veggies right to your front door.

If you're interested in saving money, eating healthier and supporting farmers all while limiting food waste,  watch me unveil my first box of Imperfect Produce and let me know if you have any questions. You might want to try Imperfect Produce too. Just because it doesn't look perfect doesn't mean it isn't healthy food or that it won't taste perfect.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Oh Christmas Tree

Okay,  I know it might not  look like much but take a peek below to see how it started.

It was a true transformation. This little tree started out as a piece of paper...well, maybe two that I put together and then watched the salt crystals  grow. And, I know I'm supposed to be an adult and watching crystals grow is something I should have outgrown years ago...but I haven't. I still love to watch the "miracle" or maybe you want to think of it as the "magic" of things growing almost right before my eyes. And this was a fun little science project.

And, if you want to take a peek  at the individual pictures, just scroll down.

Here's another site that shows you how to grow your own crystal Christmas tree:

The ingredient list is simple, (plus you might want to add a little food coloring) and you might have buy the bluing agent on-line:

1 tablespoon of water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon bluing
  • ½ tablespoon of household ammonia
  • If you try this out, let me know what you think of it.

    And, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!