Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Satisfyer- Toys in Review

I know I have a weird life. I like it that way and really, what is normal? But my life seems especially weird, surreal even, when people get in touch with me because of this blog. I like this blog, I've not been so active on here as of late, but this blog is my heart. And I get emails every so often from friends and readers. Once in a while sex toy companies want to know if I want free stuff! (Once in a while= twice—but whatever, who's keeping score?)

My first thought when someone sends me an email offering me free stuff is that it's a scam. I mean, really, who expects to be given anything for free? But after a little research and some deciphering I decided that the people at Satisfyer were not out to steal my identity (I mean, Casey McKay is a pen name, so really, you chose poorly to begin with). Anyway, they legitimately just wanted to send me three of their products so that I could review them.

It's not a bad gig. 

Except when they didn't leave the package at my door because it needed a signature and I was afraid I was going to have to go down to the pick up place and have to convince them that I was indeed Casey McKay. I was home when they came the second time so all was okay.

Delivered in a regular box, so my neighbors don't know what's up!

They sent me three versions of their Satisfyer: the Satisfyer Pro, the Satisfyer 2, and the Satisfyer Penguin. To be honest I've never seen a sex toy like this before. Anything I have ever tried was a vibrator or a bullet or some combination of both. If I'm being completely frank (and when am I not) any toy that requires vaginal penetration isn't really my bag. I get that a lot of women like that, but that isn't what gets me going and even the vibrators I have I don't use that way. I usually just end up using it like you would a bullet and give my clit all the attention. To say I was intrigued with these toys that focused all of their attention on this area would be an understatement.

At first glance, they made me a little nervous. I thought there might be some sort of suction or something, but no need to be alarmed, they aren't built to do anything like that. I unpacked them from their boxes and got them charging. The Satisfyer 2 takes two triple A batteries, but the Pro and the Penguin are rechargeable. I like that capability. It sucks to have to rob the TV remote of its batteries when the ones in my vibrator die. It's very handy that these come with their own usb chargers, I can swap out my phone and charge up the toy. Already winning me over with convenience.

Charging up life's essentials

Next up, actually giving them a whirl. I felt a little out of my element. How do I go about this? Do I need to line this thing up exactly with my clit? Should I be using a mirror? The pressure! Clearly, I was overthinking things. I pushed the little button and then placed the Penguin version (the smallest and least assuming) in the general area. Nothing was happening. I didn't know what I was doing wrong. I moved it a few times and thought maybe it was me. But then—oh! Wait, don't move. Right there. Oh, shit. Yeah, that's the spot.

The website describes it as contact-free pleasure, but I don't really think that's the way to describe it. Female toys are either built to penetrate (like real life) or you have some rounded, vibrating thing. The Satisfyer sort of envelopes you. The best comparison I can make is someone going down on you. The reason why I don't think it's contact-free is because your clit is resting inside. It's definitely touching, it feels like every nerve is being pulsed. 

I tried all three of them but didn't notice any discernable difference besides maybe size/portability. All of them are waterproof and one seemed just as powerful as the next. I used them alone first and then we tried one out together. Sometimes you aren't that adventurous when you're using it yourself and you almost lull yourself to sleep. And then sometimes your partner takes it from zero to sixty in two seconds and you almost launch yourself off the bed. Okay, zero to 11, because they have 11 settings. 

The bottom line is, I really like this toy and they have moved into my regular rotation. I like that someone finally figured out a way to treat a clitoris. If you're looking for something a little different, you won't be disappointed!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Road Trips and Authors in Real Life

When your best friend asks you to take a road trip with her, you say yes. When she tells you it will be a six hour drive... you should fact check her.

Natasha Knight emailed me excitedly a few months ago and asked if I wanted to drive down to North Carolina with her for A Dark and Seductive Affair book event. She got herself a table and she was flying in from Amsterdam. Obviously, she was traveling way farther already than I was, so a short road trip down the east coast through half a dozen states should be nothing!

Her original email said it would be a six hour drive. I was picking her up in Philadelphia and then we would head south. She told me she Google mapped it. 

Me: It's six hours from Philly to Charlotte?

Mr. McKay: More like ten hours.

I rolled my eyes and looked it up myself. So, it would take somewhere between nine and ten hours, my answer didn't change. Actually, ten hours of non-stop talking sounded like a dream. With time zones and families and work our text conversations are usually snippets of crazy random things.

We set out Friday morning and we talked. Straight through. Talked on top of each other, switched topics, changed back. And laughed. I didn't know I could laugh so much in ten hours. We got in later than we intended and we ate a bag of tortilla chips and a jar of salsa for dinner. It was already shaping up to be a great weekend!

We were still chatting three hours later as we were falling into bed.

Me: You should run for president. I would vote for you.

Natasha: I can't be president. I wasn't born here. You be president.

Me: Okay! Be my vice president?

Natasha *giving me a look*: I can't because if you die I would be president. And I can't.

Me: Oh. Want to be my first lady?

Natasha: I will totally be your first lady!

And that is how we made plans to move into the White House together. And also bring our husbands. I'm not really sure how the logistics work, but it's a good plan. At least it was at the moment. 

The next day was the book signing. I won't lie, I was really nervous to meet the other authors. I've talked to most of them on Facebook and I've read a lot of their books. But part of me was worried that maybe it was all an act. That they wouldn't be nice people and I'd wish I hadn't gone. 

I couldn't be more happy about how wrong I was. The first person we bumped into was Sue Lyndon. She seems nice online, right? She's even nicer and sweeter in person. She is also on her book signing event game and she helped us two noobs set up the table and organize things. 

The day was pretty much a whirlwind of meeting authors, hugging, laughing, picture taking: I was exhausted by lunch time. 

I think the highlight was watching people fangirl over Natasha. She is my best friend and I am proud of her and the amazing books she writes. I know she was caught off guard by the gushing but I'm glad I got to sit next to her and say, "Right? I know, she's awesome!" And I was reveling in her embarrassment—because I am that kind of friend.

After the signing, we were toting boxes back to the car in the parking garage and I stopped to pick up my sweater—while struggling with boxes—I tucked the front of my skirt behind the boxes and flashed the parking garage my panties. She stopped to take a picture so she could send it to my husband. She is that kind of friend. (And my husband wasn't even surprised to receive such a picture.)

That night was the masquerade ball. It was all fancy dresses and masks and drinks and twerking. Okay, Renee Rose was ruling the dance floor, I was sweatily gyrating and twerking on people because that's all I know.

I was excited we had some more time to talk to everyone and I think I only marginally came off like a crazy person. Somehow, Natasha convinced Livia Grant and Adaline Raine to venture upstairs with us to crash a wedding. To be fair, I think they may have felt it was their responsibility to come and supervise and ensure we didn't get arrested. We dragged Adaline onto an escalator and it was only after we were a few steps up that she went, "Oh, I really don't like escalators."

Natasha: You're okay. *Pulling Adaline in front of her* Casey's in front of you and I'm behind you. We got you.

Me: We'll flank you! *I crouch down low as the escalator travels up* Don't worry, I have roller derby skills!!

I'm still not sure what I meant by that but it made her laugh and we got her off the escalator in one piece. 

Somehow we ended up not being hungover on Sunday. Because we're adults and we know when to say when. Just kidding, it's because we drank gatorade and had good hotel room snacks.

We convened for breakfast before we trekked off on another million hour journey home. Let me tell you something, if you are going somewhere, you should invite Livia Grant. She organized everyone to meet up for breakfast and I'm pretty sure that was like herding cats. It was no small feat. She's a boss.

I know I didn't mention every single person I met this weekend, but I am overwhelmed with how nice and how real all of these women were. It really does make me feel like I am part of a community and I am proud to know them.

Meeting and hugging Katherine Deane and Renee Rose in real life was surreal because I've been friends with them for so long it was weird we just really met. Lee Savino and her sweet little flirty baby, Sue Lyndon, Adaline RaineAlyssa Hart, Bella Bryce, Jennifer Bene, Measha Stone, Livia Grant, Zoe Blake, Addison Cain, Alta Hensley, and all of their husbands, plus ones, friends, and helpers. Not to mention the readers and event organizers. It's Thursday and I think I might almost be caught up on sleep. 

I definitely had A Dark and Seductive Affair sleep hangover and I'm not even mad about it.  

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Living in the Future

I forgot how to use a bank teller. I mean, I understand how to use a bank and to bank with an actual human, but I haven't in maybe five or six years. I use the ATM and I do everything else online. But I had all these singles and a roll of quarters from a yard sale we had and I was actually sitting on the couch wondering how I was going to deposit the cash.

I had to refresh my memory about how to use the bank. I filled out a deposit slip and everything and I still had a mini panic attack while I was there that I had done something wrong and the woman was going to tell me I couldn't deposit my money (I don't know in what parallel universe I just thought the bank would refuse my money, but it was a niggling thought).

It made me start to take into account the way life is today. We have a lot of technology at our disposal. We communicate and build friendships over social media and the internet. But in the process have we forgotten how to do everyday things?

Mr. McKay and I went out for a bite to eat recently. We sat at the bar because the restaurant was crowded and we were starving. A woman across the bar looked vaguely familiar to me, while I was trying to place her and act like I wasn't staring, she waved and smiled at me. I froze for a few seconds like I didn't know how to act like a human. If someone says hi to you, you should say hi back. Even if you aren't sure where you know them from or what they want from you. After a few awkward moments, it clicked that we had gone to high school together, but the embarrassing part was I'm friends with her on Facebook and had chatted with her recently. Yes, it is understandable that I didn't recognize her right away, but I could have been a little less weird about thinking that I knew her. 

I prefer to buy things online. I hate traffic. I hate going to the store. I hate shopping. At the food store I'll opt for the self-checkout. I have no patience for the person in front of me who decided to use the self-checkout but then needs to call someone over to help because they don't know how to ring up their own produce. This is not making my shopping experience quicker!

But when did I become such a jerk? When did the world turn into a bunch of jerks who don't have enough time for human interaction? 

I work in retail during the hours of my boring day job. 80% of the people I encounter don't speak to me in complete sentences. They don't make eye contact. They huff and sigh when the credit card machine doesn't work quick enough or my register runs out of receipt tape. Most of the time they don't end their phone call while they try to speak to me and the person on the phone simultaneously. It's annoying and frustrating.

My favorite time of day to work is early in the morning. On a week day before 10am, when the senior citizens come out. They ask me for help in finding things. They take five times as long at the register because they write out a check (who uses checks anymore?). They make eye contact when they speak to me and seem genuinely surprised when I strike up a conversation with them. They apologize for being slow and thank me for my patience. When did the world turn into a place where you have to thank people for not rushing you? I tell them I don't mind because I get paid by the hour (old men think that joke is hilarious). They tell me to have a good day and I actually believe that they mean it. 

It reminds me that it's okay to talk to the person in front of me at the self-check out. I know where the button is for cubanelle peppers so why wouldn't I share that information? And it's okay to ask the bank teller if I filled my deposit slip out correctly, even if I am a little embarrassed that I'm in my 30's and seem to have forgotten this life skill. It's okay because she's a human and I smiled and said thank you. And I told her I liked her earrings because they were cute. My laptop never wears cute earrings. 

I might forget once in a while, but in between rushing from point A to point B, I'm going to try to remember how to be a human. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Teasing Trio~ Untamed Hearts

I had a crazy jam-packed weekend! It was all fun though. But I've just come up for air to share a little snippet from my just released menage romance. Untamed Hearts is now available on Kindle Unlimited!!

This scene picks up where the last one left off. Our two men are teasing poor Kate who still doesn't completely realize what she's signed up for.

"How do you feel about nipple play? That might not be the most relaxing thought to contemplate, but I always feel like the after effects are relaxing."
She watched as he dangled the chain in front of her. She knew what nipple clamps were, she didn't live under a rock. Had she ever had them attached to her nipples? That was a different subject entirely. 
"Your silence speaks volumes," Aaron said to her. "I forgot how exciting it could be with a newbie." He directed this statement at Ben, excitement in his tone.
Kate moved to cover her breasts, which seemed very unprotected with just her bra covering them. She ended up laying flat on her back as she had to move her arms which had been propping her up. Before she could cover herself Aaron grabbed her wrists and stretched her arms up over her head. Her nipples hardened and she cursed her traitorous body. She wasn't sure she wanted to make this easier for them. 
"Don't tie her up. Not this time."
She looked over at Ben, what did he mean? Would they tie her up some other time?
"I don't think I'll need to. You'll keep your hands where I put them, right babe?"

A million thoughts flooded her mind. Nipple clamps, tying her up, and when exactly did she become Aaron's babe? That term really rubbed her the wrong way—normally. But for some reason, coming out of his mouth, it made Kate feel warm inside.

Kate needs a change. Nothing is keeping her in New York anyway. She's getting kicked out of her apartment, she can't hold down a job, and her dating prospects seem to get worse by the day. When the chance of a lifetime presents itself, she doesn't want to say no. Despite her friend, Elle, warning her to reconsider—Kate leaps at the opportunity. A trip to Alaska? A chance at love? But there's a catch, she'll be working for a tabloid magazine who commissioned her to get a sultry story. Will she stoop low enough to use herself as bait?

Ben and Aaron are living a nearly ideal existence. They have a close-knit community that understands their lifestyle and a good life out in remote Alaska. The trouble is, it can be hard to find a woman with their shared interests. With their options being limited, Ben places an online ad looking for a woman. When Kate pops into their life they both know that nothing will ever be the same. She's smart, funny, and she is undeterred by their lifestyle, even though she is unaware before she agrees to fly out to meet them. But can they trust that her intentions are pure? Can the three of them find a way to follow their hearts? 

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Difference in a Kiss~ Untamed Hearts

Happy Friday, everyone! Untamed Hearts has been loaded up and now it is up to the Amazon gods as to when it will be up for sale. Keep your eyes peeled. **EDITED*** LINK AT THE BOTTOM!

I figured I would share another glimpse into Kate, Aaron, and Ben. Stay tuned for buy links hopefully later today!

Ben, who still held her hand, tugged her further into the room. Turning her toward him he looked down into her eyes. 
She opened her mouth to speak, but he covered her lips with his. It caught her off guard and she forgot to close her eyes. She blinked, frozen momentarily until she let herself relax and kiss him back. 
His lips were soft and he kissed her slowly. She closed her eyes and leaned into him. She didn't remember ever being kissed like that before. It was as if the rest of the world melted away and they were the only two that existed. Ben's hands wound into her hair and that was when she noticed other hands encircling her waist. 
The thought entered her mind that it should have felt odd. It should have been weird kissing Ben, feeling Aaron's hands around her. She could feel the heat of his body against her back. Standing there, sandwiched between the two men, receiving all of their undivided attention, it felt right.
Ben broke off their kiss, his hands holding either side of her face. "Just try to relax. We'll go slow, tell us if you're feeling uncomfortable or if you need to stop."
Kate's face must have shown her confusion because he gave her a reassuring smile.
"It's all about communication. None of this can work if we aren't being honest with each other."
His words didn't clarify anything for her, but she got distracted by Aaron's movements. He was by a chest of drawers opening and closing them, sorting through the contents and pulling things out. Ben turned, following her eyes. Releasing her, he crossed the room to meet Aaron. Something exchanged between the two. If they spoke it was too soft for her to hear, but suddenly they switched places.
"Who's bedroom is this?" she asked, taking a step back from Aaron as he approached her and crossing her arms in front of her.
He halted his steps and cocked his head to the side. "Am I making you nervous?"
"No," she lied, dropping her arms and trying to look more relaxed. "I was just wondering who slept in here."
"Right, we never did get to that tour, did we?" Aaron put his hands on his hips and turned in a half circle. "This is the playroom. Sorry, we didn't specify that before."
"Oh." She didn't know what else to say. 
"I guess you'll be getting the grand tour of this room before you see the rest of the house." He stepped toward her again and this time she held her ground. 
She didn't want to keep shrinking away from him.
Reaching out, his hands rubbed her arms and he looked down at her. "We're both guessing you aren't very well-versed in this arena."
Did he mean sex? She didn't know why, but that offended her.
Aaron laughed. "Don't get your panties in a bunch, city girl. We're men of particular tastes, if you hadn't noticed. We'd just like to see if our tastes mesh. That's all."
"What kind of tastes?"
He pushed her backward until the backs of her legs hit the bed. "You'll see, darling."
She sat and watched as Aaron dragged his shirt over his head. He stood before her, bare-chested, in only his jeans. Suddenly, she lost the ability to speak. Her heart beat faster as he closed in on her. She had a vision of diving off of a cliff. Because that was what this was. She was all in and she was going head first. She just hoped she survived the fall. That was the thing about cliff diving, it was best to know how deep the water was before jumping.  
The bed dipped as Aaron placed one knee beside her. He hovered over her, her face inches from his chest. As he leaned in, she fell back onto the bed. That seemed to be his plan as he cradled her head with one of his large hands and bent to kiss her. She didn't know if it was the angle or the man, but this was a much different kiss than Ben's.
Aaron had an urgency about him that was absent before. He didn't just press his lips to hers, waiting for her to respond as Ben did. He devoured her, pressing himself to her, he used his lips, his tongue, and his teeth nipped at her. She moaned and his hands started to roam. Bringing her hands up she braced herself against his muscled form. 
When he finally lifted his head, she found she was short of breath. 
Aaron smiled down at her. "Breathe through your nose, babe."
Was he giving her kissing tips? Her face burned that he thought she was such an amateur. Before she could respond he tugged the bottom of her shirt up. She started to protest, but he already had it up and over her head. He helped her sit up and that's when she noticed Ben had rejoined them. 
He'd also lost his shirt, standing at the end of the bed with his light wash jeans hanging off his hips. 
Aaron pulled her with him, getting her more centered on the bed. That's when she realized that Ben's hands weren't empty. She tried to get a better look, but couldn't see as she reclined back on the mattress. Kate was too self-conscious to sit straight up without a shirt on. Her stomach wasn't flat, and being between these two very fit men, she was only more hyper aware of that fact. If she kept herself elongated then she could appear thinner. 
"I don't know what this is from," Aaron commented, brushing his index finger over the crease between her eyebrows. "But stop thinking about whatever's twisting you up."
She took a deep breath and tried to relax. Tried not to think about the fifteen extra pounds she never could seem to lose. Tried not to think about what the hell Ben had in his hands, or what the hell she was doing in this bedroom, in Alaska.

"Hmm, I think we need to help her relax." Ben climbed onto the bed beside her.


Kate needs a change. Nothing is keeping her in New York anyway. She's getting kicked out of her apartment, she can't hold down a job, and her dating prospects seem to get worse by the day. When the chance of a lifetime presents itself, she doesn't want to say no. Despite her friend, Elle, warning her to reconsider—Kate leaps at the opportunity. A trip to Alaska? A chance at love? But there's a catch, she'll be working for a tabloid magazine who commissioned her to get a sultry story. Will she stoop low enough to use herself as bait?

Ben and Aaron are living a nearly ideal existence. They have a close-knit community that understands their lifestyle and a good life out in remote Alaska. The trouble is, it can be hard to find a woman with their shared interests. With their options being limited, Ben places an online ad looking for a woman. When Kate pops into their life they both know that nothing will ever be the same. She's smart, funny, and she is undeterred by their lifestyle, even though she is unaware before she agrees to fly out to meet them. But can they trust that her intentions are pure? Can the three of them find a way to follow their hearts? 

Buy Untamed Hearts on Amazon now!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Out of Her Comfort Zone~ Untamed Hearts~ A NEW Menage!!

Well, I did a thing and I wrote a book. And I finished it. And everything. It's been a while guys, thanks for hanging in there. If any of you are still out there reading my blog—I know I've been lax about that too. Thanks for bearing with me, I love all of you <3

This idea sprouted from watching some show on HGTV of all things. If you don't know this about me, I love watching home makeover shows and also shows about people looking to buy a house and then making ridiculous comments about said house. "Oh, I don't like this paint color." "I HATE carpeting." As if they will never change anything inside once they buy it. 

Anyway, HGTV has regular shows called Beachfront Bargains and Lakehouse Living. They are essentially Househunters, but one takes place on a beach the other on a lake, you get the picture. I stumbled across this one in Alaska. It may have been one of the Lakehouse Living shows, or it could have been its own special Alaska thing, I honestly don't remember. But it kickstarted this crazy story in my brain. I am an east coast girl, I've lived my entire life within an hour driving distance to two metropolitan areas. The thought of completely removing myself from that and plunging into the Alaska Frontier got my creative juices flowing. And that is where this book came from.

Here, I will introduce you to Kate. She's from New York City, she's lived her whole life on the east coast and now she decides she needs a change. So, she responds to an online ad, and unknowingly gets herself involved in a triage relationship. Not only is she dealing with the culture shock of being in the remote wilderness, but she's also dealing with a relationship dynamic she was unprepared for. It was fun to write. And I hope, it will be fun to read.

I'll stop blabbing and let you read an excerpt. Hopefully you'll like what you see and stay tuned for more. Release date will be later this week!

What was she doing? Kate meant it when she said she could never please both of them. Hell, she didn't think she ever managed to please anyone in her life. She'd been a major disappointment since the moment she was born. Of course, her mother never said that out loud, but she knew. She was the result of a one-night stand, her mother wasn't even certain who her father was. Kate had spent her life apologizing for being around. That was why when the opportunity arose for this chance, she grabbed it. Looking between Aaron and Ben, they looked like they wanted to eat her alive. A shiver ran down her spine as she realized she wouldn't mind that at all.
"Who were these bozos you were dating in the city?" Aaron arched an eyebrow in disbelief.
"Any guy who wasn't happy with you has to be crazy," Ben added.
Crazy for sure. She'd dated her fair share of crazy. And weird.
Both men watched her with curious eyes and she realized they were waiting for her to speak. Kate shrugged in answer. "I have a talent for finding the wrong men. Everyone has their own agenda."
Aaron's eyes narrowed at her statement.
Did he have an agenda? Her chest constricted as she panicked again over her situation.
Ben reached out and grabbed her hand. "Hey, we're not expecting you to please us." He gave her a lopsided grin that did strange things to her insides. "We want to please you."
He cupped her chin, rubbing his thumb along her jawline with a tenderness she wasn't expecting.
Aaron sat back, studying her, giving her some space. He looked as if he were deep in thought. "Give us one night. Tonight. Let us show you what it's all about."
"You mean..." her voice trailed off as she took her eyes from Aaron to Ben. "You want me to sleep with you? Both of you?"
"If you want—" Aaron began.
"No." Ben shot Aaron a look. "We don't mean you need to have sex with us."
"You don't have to," Aaron added in an exasperated tone. "But, it's an option." He wiggled his eyebrows at her and the playful look was so unexpected it made her giggle. She didn't expect the smile he gave her either. This man was full of surprises.
"So what then?"
"Let us have tonight. We'll show you what it's like to be with two men." Ben locked his eyes on hers as he explained. "You don't need to please us. We want to please you."
She had so many questions, like what was in it for them? Why would two guys possibly want to share one woman if they weren't getting anything out of it? Her hands grew clammy and she thought of every horrible scenario as Ben led her upstairs, Aaron close behind them.

Coming Soon!

Blurb: Kate needs a change. Nothing is keeping her in New York anyway. She's getting kicked out of her apartment, she can't hold down a job, and her dating prospects seem to get worse by the day. When the chance of a lifetime presents itself, she doesn't want to say no. Despite her friend, Elle, warning her to reconsider—Kate leaps at the opportunity. A trip to Alaska? A chance at love? But there's a catch, she'll be working for a tabloid magazine who commissioned her to get a sultry story. Will she stoop low enough to use herself as bait?

Ben and Aaron are living a nearly ideal existence. They have a close-knit community that understands their lifestyle and a good life out in remote Alaska. The trouble is, it can be hard to find a woman with their shared interests. With their options being limited, Ben places an online ad looking for a woman. When Kate pops into their life they both know that nothing will ever be the same. She's smart, funny, and she is undeterred by their lifestyle, even though she is unaware before she agrees to fly out to meet them. But can they trust that her intentions are pure? Can the three of them find a way to follow their hearts?  

Stay tuned for more excerpts until my release date!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Sometimes Muffins are Not the Answer (Sometimes)

We've been doing this thing around here lately in the McKay house. We're trying to eat low carb. I don't know how stuck to a "diet" we necessarily are but we stopped eating rolls, bagels, pasta and carb-laden things for dinner. In the past, we were going for quick and easy, it didn't take much thought. Our main dinner meal most nights was some kind of sandwich, on a roll, with chips as a side dish. Not really the food choices you should be making in your adult life. 

So, in a quest to make healthier choices and to stop eating like we're teenagers we made the slight adjustment to eat less carbs. The change hasn't been so drastic that we feel deprived. Meal prep has been discussed more often. And it really does help that Mr. McKay loves to cook, otherwise we'd be eating omelets every night if it were left up to me. (We are eating omelets for dinner like once a week because I do have sway on the menu.)

One of my favorite things to do on my day off is to bake or make breakfast. I'll make muffins or waffles. Occasionally, I'll whip up a cake or some brownies. We had bananas that were super ripe and needed to be used within the day, normally, I would make these banana crumb muffins that are to die for! I love them and will eat two at a time for breakfast because they are that good. But we're eating healthier now, muffins aren't really on the menu. 

I looked up a healthier recipe and found this banana oatmeal cup thing. It was really easy to do and we had all the ingredients. And it's healthier! (right?)

A conversation:

Me: I made banana oatmeal muffin cup things! Is oatmeal low carb?

Mr. McKay: No, it's a carb.

Me: Oh, but it's like good, right?

Mr. McKay: *shrugs*

Me (after clicking around on the internet): Yes, it's a healthy carb because it's a whole grain!

He was way less enthused about my health facts than I was.

I don't think Mr. McKay was sold on my breakfast alternative either. I think he's still mourning the muffins. But I've been eating them every morning for breakfast (30 seconds in the microwave makes them warm and gooey). And I have noticed they keep me feeling less hungry throughout the morning, which is always a good thing. 

I'll still make us some banana crumb muffins but it's not going to be an every week kind of thing.

Does anyone have any healthy eating tips or recipes? We've been eating more salads and trying to eat more vegetables and less bread. What do you guys do?

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Price of a Good Time

The good news is I still have a headache today.

Why is that good news? No reason really except that it makes my conscience feel a little better.

Let me take you back to the beginning. I know I haven't been blogging lately and I really do have this goal to put up a post a week. But finding the physical time to even have two thoughts coalesce into anything resembling a post has been tricky.

I have a lot on my plate and recently added more things and jobs and titles and responsibilities. Because obviously, I'm a masochist. And a completely unrealistic optimist who thinks there are enough hours in the day to get everything done (there isn't).

And every once in a while I have an opportunity to go out and kick up my heels and give myself a night off. This miraculous event happened two nights ago. Roller derby practice got canceled and my teammates decided we were forgoing the physical exercise and we were going out for the night. 

I'll let you in on a secret: I like drinking. I'm a little worried that makes me sound like I have a problem so let me break it down. I like the social aspect of cooling my heels and having a couple of drinks. I like the slight buzz and the way my mind becomes singularly focused on being in the moment. I'm not thinking about bills and schedules and deadlines and to do lists. I'm thinking about the person standing in front of me that I'm conversing with. I'm thinking about the music playing. I'm thinking about all the love I have for all the people I'm sharing my night with.

It's not so different from the adrenaline rush I get on game day. Or when I slip into the writing zone and pound out a bunch of words on a new story. Anything that can take me away from the day to day minutia where I'm teetering on the edge of panic of not getting everything done is pretty much the best.

Anyway, I was out the other night and I had a good buzz going. And I did not want the night to end, I did not want that feeling to end. So I ended up having one more drink than I meant to and by the time I had eaten and come home I had a slight headache. 

Just a little niggling ache right in the front of my head, over my eyes. I drank some water and hoped sleep would knock it out. 

It did not. I woke up with a pounding headache. My morning was wasted. I tried every headache remedy I could to get the monster under control, but mostly I laid on the couch and moped.

I worried about my lack of production. I had had my morning scheduled to the minute of what I needed to accomplish before I left for an afternoon shift at the day job. So while I closed my eyes against the daylight I weighed things out in my mind. Could I be hungover? It seemed weird that I would feel this bad from having three beers the night before. But maybe I hadn't had enough water. Now I was paying for it. I deserved no sympathy, I needed to suck it up and move on. What kind of grown up let's herself get hungover when she has a million things to do?

Sure, the seasons are changing and I have been a little congested. It could be a sinus headache, but I didn't want to let myself off the hook with a flimsy excuse. I powered through my shift, came home with the same headache, and stumbled into bed feeling guilty as ever.

I woke up this morning with the same headache. My nose is running and my throat kind of hurts. Hooray! I'm not an irresponsible jerk after all. I just have a sinus thing going on. 

I let myself have a lazy morning and I'm heating up some soup. It shouldn't matter I guess, the source of my headache. But it does give me peace of mind that I didn't sabotage myself. And that I am allowed to go out and have a few beers and let myself shut off for a bit.

After all, I can't control the seasons. Or my stupid allergies.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

When the Lights Go Out...

I don't know about you, but sometimes I get so wrapped up in the "big picture" that little things can pass me by.

So much is going on in the world. So much that takes our attention and seems to need our immediate response. My mind is constantly preoccupied these days as I follow the news and try to figure out what I am doing that's making a difference. 

But there's still day to day life. There still needs to be food in the fridge and some kind of dinner plan (does anyone else feel like 90% of their day is trying to figure out dinner?) and not forgetting to get gas before you go to work and shit did I forget to wash my work pants again?

Maybe you have it a little more together than me. I envy you if you do. 

Last night, I settled into bed and found a show on Netflix to fall asleep by. I can't sleep in silence and the light from the TV helps Mr. McKay find his way to bed. About forty minutes after I had tucked myself in I sat up with a startled gasp. I blinked against the pitch black that had consumed me, trying to clear my eyes and squint to see. 

I heard Mr. McKay coming up the stairs. I grabbed my cell phone, using the screen as a flashlight. 

"The power's out," he said as he met me in the hallway.

I grabbed a flashlight from the closet. "That's weird."

It was weird. It wasn't windy or snowing, or doing anything outside that would make you think some power lines got knocked down. 

We made our way to our bed and settled beneath the blankets without the glow of the TV between us. We talked for a few minutes. I was groggy from the short amount of sleep I'd already had. But then a thought occurred to me.

"Is everyone's power out?"

"Yeah... I think."

"Did you pay the electric bill?" There was one thing I knew for certain, I had not paid it. 

The division of labor in our house is fairly even. Cooking, cleaning, food shopping—all that stuff doesn't fall on just one person and I am grateful for it. The same with the bills, but it becomes a little tricky when we have a conversation that: "the cable bill, car insurance, and electric bill need to be paid." Sometimes I think this conversation means he is handling it, sometimes he thinks my acknowledgment of this conversation means I am doing it. In the end, they all get paid.


"Yeah," he said in a way that did not invoke confidence. Then he lit the flashlight and walked to the window to peer through the blinds. "Everyone's out, streetlights too."

"Okay, good."

He climbed back in beside me and I snuggled into him. "I knew I paid it," he whispered into the dark, almost as if he was assuring himself. 

I woke up a few hours later to blinking clocks and the low hum of electronics around us.

We're trying to be good neighbors and good citizens. We often feel powerless in these uncertain times. I don't think we should lose sight of the big picture, of the world around us, of issues bigger than those in our everyday lives. 

But we remembered to pay the electric bill. And I have milk in the fridge for my morning coffee. I just realized there is still a container of pineapple stuck in the back, way past its prime that's slowly decaying because we keep forgetting to toss it when we take the garbage out. We'll get to it eventually.

We keep ourselves informed and support the causes we care about. And we can still make each other laugh when we're plunged into darkness for some unexplained reason. That's the hope that I cling to.

"By night, Love, tie your heart to mine, and the two together in their sleep will defeat the darkness"—Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Becoming Un-stuck

Hi everyone! We are 10 days into 2017 and the only conclusion I have come to is that I really, really hate cold weather.

Other than that, this year is treating me fine. 

Last year was not my best year for writing. Believe it or not I set goals every week. I try to complete projects and get them out there to share with the world. Apparently, 2016 was not my year for that. I had the best intentions. But it was a weird year.

Anyway, having published one book in 2016 makes it kind of easy to at least double if not triple my output this year. I've been doing some reflection in trying to figure out what exactly stunted my creativity.

The conclusion I came to (without going into every minute factor that affected my daily life) is that I don't think my creativity was the problem. I think it came down to motivation, time, and the actual joy I was getting out of writing. 

Just recently I started revising the very first book I wrote and published, Catch a Falling Star. It's funny to read something that I wrote four years ago. It's weird to see how much my writing style has changed, while pretty much staying the same. 

Sure, I cringe at some of the things in there. The way I wrote things, the words I used. Apparently, I really, really loved commas (I don't think that's changed). But I'll tell you what's refreshing about looking back at this book, remembering how it just kind of burst out of me. 

Yeah, I didn't know what I was doing. But I wasn't writing it for anyone. I didn't even think anyone was going to read it. I didn't care. I was just writing. Creating my own world with my own characters, just for me. 

I don't write like that anymore and I am wondering if that is part of the problem. I'm too much in my own head "are people going to buy this?" "what will readers think if I write this?"

When I wrote this first book I didn't think about any of that. I didn't care because it wasn't even a factor.

Somehow writing evolved from, "this thing I love and make time for" to "this thing I try to do." I don't know when it stopped feeling like an outlet and started feeling like work. I think I got into the mindset that if I kept pushing on it would feel right again. 

And I don't even think I realized it happened until I started reading Catch a Falling Star and I found myself smiling. When was the last time that happened? When was the last time I sat down at my laptop and didn't worry about this scene developing the characters, or the dialogue moving the plot along? 

When was the last time I was excited about writing?

Too long. I'll tell you that. 

I'm thinking about not thinking about it too much.

I'm planning on having less of a plan. 

I'm going to stop being in my head and let my heart have a bigger role.

Maybe it will be a disaster. Maybe I'll be sitting here on January 10th 2018 saying, "Guys, that was a really stupid thing I decided to do."

I'm okay with that. 

On that note, I do have a couple of projects in the pipeline. One book that I have been working on for months. I'm getting to the end of it and I think it might actually be pretty good. 

A second book that came out of a dream I had one night. It's still in the thinking out process, but it's been rumbling around in my head for a month or two now. Sometimes I think I write the best when I let the idea ferment for a while. 

It's going to be different than the usual thing from me. We'll see how it turns out. 

I won't know until I try.

Monday, January 2, 2017

New Year, New You? Probably Not.

I will take this moment to wish all of you a Happy and Healthy New Year, because that is what you do at the beginning of the new year, right? But does that mean that I don't care if you're happy and healthy in July? I mean I guess the January wish is supposed to carry through all year long. I'm just saying, just because it's the dawn of the new year doesn't mean anything has changed. 

I want my friends and family to always be healthy and happy.

I'm not a resolution person, mostly for this reason. The same reason why I don't believe in diets or any other kind of "Change your life overnight!" thing. It's crap. 

It is a new year, yes, technically, it is a new beginning. But we're all the same people we were two days ago. Nothing is going to change just because we wish it will. 

I am an optimistic person by nature, I don't want anyone to think I'm being negative here. I guess I'm just being realistic. Yes, I also thought, "Goodbye 2016! You sucked. I'm not sad to see you go. 2017 will be so much better!"

Then today, on January 2nd, I woke up with a crippling headache. I'm not surprised by this, I have been headache prone my entire life. Waking up with a headache is the worst. And mostly my first thought is always, "Shit, what did I drink last night??"

Truthfully, I did have a few beers yesterday and I had a headache all afternoon because once in a while a very hoppy beer will hit me the wrong way (yet, I still drink them, because who doesn't like a little Russian roulette to liven up their life?). 

I was headache free when I went to bed last night and then woke up with a beastly one. It's a sinus headache, it's pretty much under control now. There are still hoof beats in the background, but I'm not letting it ruin my day.

My point is—is 2017 off to a kick ass start? No. I spent all day yesterday exhausted because I only slept 5 hours the night before. Today, I have an awful headache. Does that mean my entire year is shot?

Well, let's hope not. But I fear a lot of my friends would think exactly that. At least judging by their ever hopeful facebook posts. 

It's a new year and it's a clean slate, but I'm still the same person. I'm still going to get headaches and not make it to the gym as much as I should. I'm still going to procrastinate. I'm still going to drink hoppy beers and then curse myself for it. 

But I'm also going to remember to enjoy the little things. I'm going to make time to see friends. I'm going to work out, not because I should but because I feel better when I do. I'm going to cook more with my husband because I love him and I love eating (best of both worlds). I'm going to continue setting goals for myself. 

But when I don't meet them I'm not going to beat myself up. I'm going to try harder.

It's not a new me, it's the same me. 

So, my friends, I wish you more good days than bad days. I hope you laugh more than you cry. I hope you discover what makes you happy and you hold onto it. I hope you remember that one day does not define you.

I hope in this new year that you are still the same you.

A Happy and Healthy everything to everyone!