Saturday, April 23, 2016

Etched Magazine Wins Top Award

Etched Magazine has long been recognized as a visually stunning periodical. Big, glossy pictures allow the reader to experience an "off the beaten path" view of the stark beauty of the South West. Etched Magazine has won Utah Best of State honors for visual design in the Arts and Entertainment Category on two different occasions. Now, Etched Magazine is proving it's more than just a pretty face by being recognized as the 2016 Literary Arts Winner

This honor is especially gratifying to Darci Hansen, Editor and Publisher of Etched Magazine. Hansen has long placed an strong emphasis on telling the stories of the people and places of the South West in a unique, organic way

I am so proud of the editorial and design staff at Etched Magazine for all their wonderful accomplishments. I didn't start writing for Etched until the final issue for 2015, so I am not able to take any credit for all the hard earned accolades. The benefit to me is the opportunity to work with top industry professionals like Darci Hansen, Vice President Carrie Leishman, Design Editor Laurie James, Photographer Nick Adams, and the talented staff of Etched Writers.

Congratulations, Etched Magazine, on a well deserved Best of State Award!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

April Showers Bring Wild Flowers

For those who haven't spent a lot of time in the desert, it may seem like an endless sea of various shades of red and brown.  And sometimes it is.  But in the Spring, Mother Nature treats the desert to a blanket of wildflowers.

I spend a great deal of time exploring the desert on my ATV.  Nothing quite beats the Spring in terms of perfect riding temperatures and beautiful scenery.

One of the desert flowers found in abundance behind my house is Globe Mallow.  This happy orange plant is so intriguing, I couldn't help but include it in one of my audiobooks.

I am also enamored with indigo, but the elevation in my backyard desert is too low for the plant to grow in abundance.  However, I did spot some desert flowers that were indigo in color, though I'm not sure what the actual name of this plant is.

I am always so astonished at how many different plants bloom in the desert. What a wonderful way to celebrate Spring in Southern Utah!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

My Review of The Hungry Girl Diet by Lisa Lillien

Generally speaking, I don't believe in or follow diets. To me, the word “diet” equates with something temporary, so I don't view it as a real lifestyle change. Nonetheless, I found myself wanting to drop a few pounds for a photo shoot, so going on a temporary eating plan to accomplish this goal seemed reasonable. To assist in the process, I purchased a book called The Hungry Girl Diet by Lisa Lillien

I was attracted to this book because I like to eat! I was happy to discover the book outlined very reasonable meal plans which, when followed, will lead to weight loss. I was pleasantly surprised by how ordinary and normal the menu selections were. In other diets I have tried, the plans cut out whole food groups or require you to eat or drink weird things in attempt to whittle down the waistline.

When I first started The Hungry Girl Diet, I balked at the instruction to write down everything I eat. After a few days, I began see the wisdom in this. I discovered that when I have to “own” everything I eat by writing it down, it makes it less likely that I will eat stuff that is high in calories.

A typical lunch or dinner on The Hungry Girl Diet consists of a sandwich and salad – both filling and with bread (although the plan recommends small portions of 100 percent whole wheat products). The diet even allows for three snacks a day!

There is nothing earth-shattering or drastically new in The Hungry Girl Diet. However, Lillien does a wonderful job of listing the foods that give you the most bang for your buck. Lillien also has lots of great tips for making the plan work and for cutting out needless calories. Many of these suggestions can be found on Lillien's website

The Hungry Girl Diet claims that people who follow the plan can lose ten pounds in four weeks. I lost ten pounds in three weeks which even included a few cheats! I was never hungry and found this to be a very simple and reasonable plan for losing weight. Hats off to Lisa Lillien for a great weight loss plan! I am awarding The Hungry Girl Diet four stars on my Goodreads page