Celebrating a First Born

It isn’t every day that an author gets to see her first book published. Which was DSC_0429partly why I decided that a book launch party would be such a fun idea. ‘Course, I made this decision two days before MERGER OF THE HEART’s debut. AND, I decided to hold it the evening it released. Two words: Not. Smart.

I’ll attribute it to ignorance. After all, how was I supposed DSC_0428to know all the fine details of launching a story out into the world? Of the countless hours on social media, and of hitting the “refresh” key to get updates of sales stats on Amazon? Right? Right?

Midway through the afternoon I realized that: 1) People were due at my house in three hours. 2) There was no food and I had to make a grocery store run. 3) There was the whole set-up thing that involved tracking down platters and serving spoons (how did they get to be so danged dusty?), and 4) I had yet to bathe….

I have to admit I was impressed that it all got done – especially the bathing part! And as exhausted as I was, it was so much fun.DSC_0437 ‘Course, the first four guests were drafted into kitchen prep, but that serves them right for being on time! The cucumber got sliced, the salami was rolled, and the store-bought mini-cupcakes and cookies were artfully arranged.

The best part? People actually showed up!

Have you thrown a party together at the last minute? How’d it go?

Happy eating,

Christmas in The Philippines

I’m fortunate to have extended family within driving distance. And while I don’t get to visit as often as I like, it’s a real treat when I do make the two-hour trek to see them. Recently (just last night, in fact), my nephew practiced a speech he was to give to his class. 20141216_202241

The topic was Christmas and some of the cultural differences between his Philippine heritage as compared to that in the United States. It was adorable (because he is, after all, seven!), and it reminded me so much the traditions I’d grown up with. For instance, the typical Barong (which he was kind enough to model for me – isn’t he cute?) is worn by males during special occasions. There are also different games played, and definitely different food that graces a traditional Filipino table during the holidays (a roasted pig, for instance, complete with an apple in its mouth). Yum!

There were even visual aids used, like the FILIPINO FRIENDS book he brought with him (displayed here by his sister). And the part I’m most proud about? This little guy was thoroughly comfortable standing in front of a room full of people and giving his speech! How many adults can say that?

Even as a seven-year-old, he reminded me about the wide range of experiences (a.k.a. back story) that we all carry with us as we travel on this road called “life.” It’s these same experiences that guide us as we make choices and deal with what comes our way. It’s through testing our experiences that we grow. At least, I think so!

And as I plot my next book, remembering his speech helped emphasize the importance of my characters’ back stories. Apple, anyone?

Happy Travel Bug Tuesday,

Fortune Cookies and Caviar Dreams

Do you believe in the power of a good fortune? The lollipop and rainbow kind that’s delivered all wrapped up in crunchy, flavorful yumminess at the end of a meal? The heart-racing kind that has you mentally spending your imagined wealth on the great pair of Christian Louboutin black high heels you’d salivated over for years. . .. And years. . .. And – yeah, you get the picture. (Well, okay, so maybe that fantasy’s limited to just me, but still. . ..)

I admit, I love fortune cookies. Not to eat, but for those tiny promises that come in them. This recent one was at the end of a birthday dinner for Niece at her fave Asian restaurant. Frankly, despite the haul she made that night, I think I ended up the real winner – even if I did pick up the tab! Check it out: P1170046

You know what, universe? A pair of Christian Louboutins would sum up my definition of success. Just sayin’!

How would you define yours?

Have an awesome week,

HAPPY 2014!

Ah, the glamorous life! 🙂 The Alexander household celebrated the new year in our jammies, P1160115watching the crystal ball drop over Times Square. We drank a toast to all that was in 2013 and to all the wonderful possibilities coming our way.

Here’s to a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2014! Are you ready?