Friday, February 28, 2014

Stolen Moments

     I creep downstairs at 5:30 a.m., trying to steal a few moments for a much needed yoga session before the whole house wakes up and the business of life steals all my "me-time" from me. The floor boards creak beneath my feet. Shhhh... I whisper to no one, Please don't let that sound wake anyone up. Please. I ever so gingerly unroll my yoga mat, the sticky un-sticking sound making another slight noise that causes me to cringe with worry that my moment will be lost to the sound of children rousing out of sleep. But so far so good.

     I place my feet at the top of my mat. Hip distance apart. Spreading and separating my toes, then pressing each one firmly into the mat. Rooting my feet to the earth. My spine lengthens, shoulders back and down. The crown of my head lifts. I am tall and serene. I close my eyes and open my hands down at my sides, fingers spread wide, ready to receive peace. I am in Tadasna, Mountain Pose. I breathe in through my nose, feeling the air cool down the back of my throat as it travels and fills my lungs and expands my abdomen. The breath is energizing. I pause in stillness, letting the full breath of oxygen feed every part of me. Then I let go, my diaphragm contracts, my lungs release the air up through the back of my throat and out again through the nose. The whole process sounds like an ocean wave, now receding and releasing all tension into the wide expanse of the sea where it dissolves into nothingness.

     I hold my pose and practice this breathing for 5 more breaths. Then I am ready to solute the sun. I feel my body, stiff at first, stretching and bending through the sequence. Soon I am more loose and I feel my muscles allow more stretch and expansion as I step into Downward Dog, I feel long and strong. My confidence builds and joy bubbles into a smile on my face, this stretch is deeper than the last time, I am growing in my practice. My body is amazing. I can do this.

     Just as I finish the Sun Salutations I hear my two-year-old talking, really a loud joyful singing in her crib. This is how she greets her day. In part it makes me smile and in part I feel disappointed that this is all the yoga I will be able to fit in today. It wasn't as long as I'd hoped. But then I stop the negative thoughts and think thankfully It is something. My day couldn't have started out any better really. Each stolen moment is a gift to myself and it is something...something beautiful. Now I am more ready to give myself to everyone else, just like every other day, but perhaps today with more love, appreciation and sincerity, because I have taken the time to do a kindness for myself and I feel grateful for that. 

Blessings,
Tamar
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Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day Giveaway << To the Sea ebook & a $25 Amazon Giftcard >>



Warm up this Valentine's Day with a giveaway to win a Kindle version of To the Sea, a new adult contemporary novel and a $25 Amazon Gift Card. 



About the Book: 

Fresh out of college and newly married, twenty-something Kira plans the perfect future with a house in the suburbs, ski getaways, and fancy dinners. When her husband Jeremy dies in a car accident, loss casts her adrift, but her heart cracks wide open when she uncovers the secrets he left behind.

Despite her dislike for the ocean with the whipping wind and itchy sand, Kira seeks solace in salt: tears, sweat, and the sea, helping her move beyond the myth of perfection, and guiding her toward the truth of who she really is.

She takes surf lessons to overcome her fear of the water and her well of grief. In the local surf scene, she meets sultry Jamie, with a hot Australian accent. He’s eager to spend time with her, but mostly between the sheets. Then there’s soulful Ian, her surf instructor, who helps her get on her feet and ride the waves.

During a transformative trip to South Africa on surfari, she learns the best way to be loved, yet when she returns to the shores of New England, grief continues to haunt her. She must let go, but how? Torn between the tides, Kira discovers strength and courage, navigates loss, lust, and love, taking readers along for the plunge.



About the Author:

Deirdre Riordan Hall writes upper young adult and new adult fiction. She spends her days with her family, at the custom-made desk her husband crafted—writing (what else?) or seaside, pretending she's a mermaid.


If you just can't wait to see if you win, click to buy on Amazon

For more To the Sea surf swag, please visit my Etsy Shop: Words, Waves & Wonder

Please enter below. 



This giveaway is only for residents of the United States. Sorry my international friends!

Good Luck!



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Friday, February 7, 2014

To the Sea Giveaway, Book & Surf Swag


Notice that there's a check mark missing? Yup. So you know what that means? 

This is the epic giveaway post. As you may or may not know (if not, hop aboard!) my new adult contemporary fiction novel (*clears throat* that's modern romance for the uninitiated) will be released on Tuesday February 11. 
Can you hear me cheering? In addition to writing a smexy tale of love lost and then found again, I designed several items to tie-into the book's content and am excited to share them with you. 

Without further ado...




By entering below you could win a To the Sea tote bag, perfect to bring to the beach or for around town, a Golden State of Mind trucker hat in that classic surf-skate style, a gold shell necklace with a sea glass pendant and a paperback copy of To the Sea.

***

About the Book: 

Fresh out of college and newly married, twenty-something Kira plans the perfect future with a house in the suburbs, ski getaways, and fancy dinners. When her husband Jeremy dies in a car accident, loss casts her adrift, but her heart cracks wide open when she uncovers the secrets he left behind.
Despite her dislike for the ocean with the whipping wind and itchy sand, Kira seeks solace in salt: tears, sweat, and the sea, helping her move beyond the myth of perfection, and guiding her toward the truth of who she really is.
She takes surf lessons to overcome her fear of the water and her well of grief. In the local surf scene, she meets sultry Jamie, with a hot Australian accent. He’s eager to spend time with her, but mostly between the sheets. Then there’s soulful Ian, her surf instructor, who helps her get on her feet and ride the waves.
During a transformative trip to South Africa on surfari, she learns the best way to be loved, yet when she returns to the shores of New England, grief continues to haunt her. She must let go, but how? Torn between the tides, Kira discovers strength and courage, navigates loss, lust, and love, taking readers along for the plunge.

About the Author: 

Deirdre Riordan Hall writes upper young adult and new adult fiction. She spends her days with her family, at the custom-made desk her husband crafted—writing (what else?) or seaside, pretending she's a mermaid.

***

Please enter below: 




My apologies, but this contest is open to US residents only. 

Please check out my Etsy Shop: Words, Waves & Wonder --- Treasures inspired by the ocean and fiction.

Good Luck!


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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

DIY: Yogurt


My family could (and have, often) go through 5lbs of yogurt in a week. That's a family of 6 with 4 yogurt eaters. A couple of years ago in an effort to provide more health-conscious, mindful eating in our home I began to exam nutrition labels for just about everything we consumed. I was shocked to find that even the all natural, organic flavored yogurts we were eating could contain about 28g of sugar per 6oz container. Whoa there, ladies! That is more than the recommended daily intake for adults--in one serving if yogurt! Worse, I found that many of the "yogurts" marketed for children contained not only artificial colors, but were not what I would even consider yogurt but rather some odd mixture of jello and pudding. Sure they contained milk but also gelatin and tons of sugar. I was appalled. 

So first we made the switch to plain yogurt, and sweetened ourselves with maple syrup or honey, slowly I tapered off of the sweeteners until my children learned to love plain yogurt with onky fresh fruit for added sweetness. To save on money, we found that we could get a 5lb tub of plain yogurt at the local Indian market for only $5.99! What a deal! Recently, however my fella's Indian colleague told him and easy it is to make your own, and I thought I'd give it a go. All you need is a gallon of milk and a 6oz container of plain yogurt to start your first batch, after that reserve a little of your homemade stuff to use as a starter for the next batch. I buy my milk at BJ's Wholesale for $2.49 a gallon and I get, you guessed it, ONE GALLON OF HOMEMADE YOGURT FOR $2.49. Now THAT is a savings! And we stretch it for 2 weeks. It is so delicious and so easy to make.


A quick google search will lead you to many other resources as well. Next I plan to try my hand at coconut milk yogurt for my dairy-free daughter. We both love the all natural coconut brands out there, but they pricey and again, loaded with sugar.

Here is how it looks when done...look at all that yogurt!

The yogurt pictured at the top of the page is Raspberry Kiwi and was quick to whip up and a major hit, delicious!!!

Raspberry-Kiwi Yogurt
4 servings

16 oz homemade plain yogurt
2 ripe kiwi mashed and/or chunked
1/4 cup unsweetened frozen raspberries thawed and mashed
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
(Optional) tsp maple syrup

Mix and serve. Delicious!

It feels wonderful to be making my own food, which is much healthier and saves a ton of money. Try it, you'll love it!

Bon apetit!
Tamar


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Friday, January 31, 2014

TGIF!!!

Penelope has reached nirvana. Copyright 2013, Ladies Holiday
Wishing all you lovely ladies
a purrfect weekend!

I'm kicking off my weekend with some mood boosting ditty's 
via "Indie Radio" on Spotify.com

XO,
Tamar
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Thursday, January 30, 2014

To the Sea, a novel. Cover reveal. Squee!






Hello Ladies!



I wrote a book. Not only that, but I finished it, and then revised, edited, smashed my head on my desk, stayed up nights wondering, what the heck am I doing... Then I wrote another one, and yes, another after that. I’ve been in my writers cave. No, not an actual cave, but a room with windows, a proper desk, and a laptop. There are books and notes everywhere too, just so yanno, I feel writerly. I’ve scoured tag sales for a prop typewriter, but no luck. Occasionally I emerge for food or a hug, but mostly I’ve just been writing. I’d tell you I’ve been in here so long I grew a beard, but alas, genetics and all that.

The exciting thing about all this is my new adult novel, To the Sea, is going to be published. Yes! I know. *Cue jumping out of chair, falling over my feet, cheering, and a loud Squee!



What’s To the Sea about?

Fresh out of college and newly married, twenty-something Kira plans the perfect future with a house in the suburbs, ski getaways, and fancy dinners. When her husband Jeremy dies in a car accident, loss casts her into despair, but her heart cracks wide open when she uncovers his secrets.

Despite her dislike for the ocean with the wind and itchy sand, Kira takes surf lessons to overcome her fear of the water and her well of grief. In the local surf scene, she meets sultry Jamie (with a hot Australian accent.) He’s eager to spend time with her, but mostly between the sheets. Then there’s soulful Ian, her surf instructor, who helps her get back on her feet and ride the waves.

On a heart-searching trip to South Africa for a surfari, Kira discovers what she really wants, but when she returns to the states, the grief she left behind haunts her. Torn between the tides, she navigates loss, lust, and love, taking readers along for the plunge.

***

So yes, in case you’re wondering, I’ve also been surfing. Just a bit. But don’t worry, the rest is fiction.




When can you read it?



To the Sea will officially be released on Tuesday, February 11, 2014.

Not long now! Follow along here, check in with me on Twitter to keep updated. 

I'm on Goodreads (you can add To the Sea to your To-Be-Read list :) 

Also, after a long time,  I'm also on Facebook. Would love your like/friend! 

I appreciate your follows, friends, likes, and reviews. Thanks everyone!


I  have some fun giveaways coming up with treasures inspired by the book and the ocean, along with some other surprises. Also, please check out my fiction-inspired shop on ETSY.

 ***

 For a tease of what's to come, check out these three sneak peeks: Jamie, Ian & Kira

***


If you would like to share, I would be forever grateful. Simply copy the text in the box beneath the image below. Then paste it into your blog's HTML area in a new post or on the sidebar. Voila! 

If that's not for you, you can still share the cover reveal (on your social media outlet of choice: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr) by copying the address link in the navigation bar above. 

As always, thank you for your support!



http://www.deirdreriordanhall.com
<div class="DeirdreRiordanHall-button" style="width: 200px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="http://www.deirdreriordanhall.com" rel="nofollow"> <img src="http://i1168.photobucket.com/albums/r499/ladiesholiday/TTScoverfinal1_zps12be4f7d.jpg" alt="DeirdreRiordanHall" width="200" height="200" /> </a> </div>






I also want to give a special thanks to all those who have helped me with this endeavor so far, particularly Tamar, Seana, Christine, and Val, your support means the world to me. I value all the encouragement, feedback, and cheerleading. 
 
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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

DIY: Travel Cup. Awesomeness!

OMG!



I just made this completely awesome knockoff of the Cuppow and it took all of 30 seconds!

Found it via the "Socially conscious, totally fabulous" Bonzai Aphrodite. For the how-to, click http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/2014/01/mason-jar-travel-cup-hack-homemade-cuppowecojarz-sip-cup/

Enjoy!

XO,
Tamar


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