If you’ve read my bio, you’ll notice that sports and exercise are not mentioned in any way, shape, or form. There’s a reason for that. I don’t watch them, I don’t do them, and I don't like them.
I’m an avid walker. That was my physical activity of choice, the only thing I truly enjoy doing. In the summer, I will go out for a twenty-minute stretch break and do a one-mile (1.6 km) loop around my house, and I’ll do three of these a day. That works out to five miles a day, four or five days a week. I thought I was doing pretty well.
In September 2018 I went in for my annual physical. My doctor said she wanted me to start adding cardio to my walking regime, so I added weekly one-hour three-mile walks to get my heart rate up. I thought that would be good enough.
A year ago this week, I thoroughly embarrassed myself when I got winded walking up a hill in Calgary. When I got home, the first thing I did was join a gym, because that was not going to happen to me again.
I made myself three promises:
- I was allowed to be terrible at the exercises.
- I was not allowed to cheat.
- I was not allowed to quit.
My first goal was to get into good enough shape that I would not be winded when I went on my UK trip last summer. Not only did I confidently walk all around Scotland (and let me say, that entire country is either uphill or downhill), I did it carrying my suitcase.
Goal #1 – accomplished.
Goal #2 – bench press 100 lbs. With any luck, I should hit this goal by my birthday (which is three months from now.)
I’m posting this today, though, because I hit another milestone. Today I accomplished 125 lb weighed squats and 135 lb sumo lifts. I’m still 15 lbs away from my bench press goal, but I’m a lot closer than I was.
There’s no magic pill to replace exercise (believe me, I looked.) This has taken a sincere commitment and a lot of time on my part. It’s taken me a year to get this far but I’m very proud of myself and I’m not about to quit now.
If you are on the same journey as me, I send you lots of encouragement. And if you are thinking of starting, I wish you all the best.
I saw a terrific post about "20 in 2020." It was about doing something twenty times in the new year.
I love fresh starts and making new resolutions, so I'm taking "20 in 2020" to the absolute limit by making a list of 20 things to do! Over half of these are one-shot items to get a little more organized for the new decade, but isn't it nice to have a clean start to the year?
Okay, here we go! Take a look and see if there are any you'd like to adopt.
Elle's 20 resolutions and goals for 2020
1. Purge 20 books (sell in a garage sale, donate, or throw away.)
2. Purge 20 DVDs and/or CDs.
3. Get rid of 20 pieces of clothes that no longer fit or are worn out.
4. Unsubscribe from 20 newsletters.
5. Leave or unfollow 20 online groups.
6. Throw out 20 old margarine/sour cream/yogurt containers and lids.
7. Listen to 20 songs by artists I've never listened to before.
8. Taste 20 new foods or drinks.
9. Make 20 new recipes during the new year
10. Walk for 20 minutes a day (a 10-minute stretch break/walk in the morning and afternoon, or at lunch and after work, really loosen up your back after sitting at a desk for a couple hours).
11. Throw away 20 pens that ran out of ink/dried-up markers/pencil stubs
12. Write and post 20 book/product/restaurant reviews.
13. Pick up 20 pieces of litter from a park/beach.
14. Pick 20 photos of myself – alone or with friends and/or family - and display them.
15. Throw away 20 things from the junk drawer.
16. Study a foreign language for 20 minutes at least once a week. (I was a language major and I want to get these skills back.)
17. Send 20 real, paper cards to people in the mail throughout the year (birthday to thinking-of-you to Christmas).
18. Knit/crochet 20 items to donate to a charity. (I love to knit, and made 16 last year, so this is a reasonable goal for me.)
19. Skip buying 20 coffees or lunches and save that money for a special treat.
20. Put $20 in a jar every payday as a vacation fund.
With only hours left in 2019, I hope you can reflect on this past year and find some good times and good friends.
I wish you all a healthy, prosperous new year, where you can use your "2020 vision" to achieve your dreams.
(No, I will not be listing "Stop making puns" on my list of new year's resolutions.)
Santa Claus has made his trips for the year. I hope you and your family and friends find yourselves happy and healthy this Christmas day, with lots of love and laughter under the tree.
Welcome to my website! It's lovely to meet you. Whether you found me through DECKER AND JOY or through DOCTOR MILLIONAIRE, hello! I know how busy the Christmas season is, so I appreciate you coming to visit. Now that you're here, grab a nice mug of hot chocolate and have a look around.
What can I tell you about myself? I talk a lot about my garden in the summer, knitting in the winter, and recipes all year round. I'm a fan of all holidays (some more so than others.) I post a lot of jokes and puns on my Twitter feed, so be warned. I'm planning three releases in 2020 - two more Hopewell Millionaires and another North Pole Unlimited romance. You never know, a third cookbook could show up at any time too.
If you like sweet romance, please check out my North Pole Unlimited series (all Christmas, all the time), my Hopewell Millionaires series (small-town lottery winners), and my Resort Romances (short stories set in the Caribbean.)
If you like hotter contemporary romances, you can also check out my Hollywood to Olympus series (behind the scenes of a hit TV show). Book #1, Screen Idol, is free right now.
If you want an easy way to be notified of my new releases, please follow me on BookBub. For the full deal, including news, recipes, sneak peaks, cover reveals, new releases and sales, please sign up for my newsletter. It comes out about once a month.
I hope to see you around. In the meantime, from my family to yours, we wish you a very merry Christmas and a wonderful 2020!
T'is the season to be running around with seven stops to make and two hours to make them.
So give yourself a break for a moment and stock up your e-reader.
I also have three new releases out this winter.
RUDY AND KRIS is the fourth North Pole Unlimited romance novella and has the adventures of the Calgary couple as they fall in love and plan a Christmas party to end all parties - including secret guests in red suits.
DOCTOR MILLIONAIRE is the first Hopewell Millionaires novel, and the first lesson the lottery winner learns is that money can't buy love - it has to be earned.
HOLIDAY TABLE is my second Heartmade cookbook, with simple, delicious recipes to make your holidays tasty and easy.
I have two free books available right now.
For my sweet romance readers and Christmas fans, DECKER AND JOY will be free for the rest of the month.
SCREEN IDOL, from my sexier, contemporary Hollywood to Olympus series, is also free till the end of the year.
I hope you have tons of reading material to last you through the holidays. If not, now is your chance.
I'm overwhelmed with the reception for Doug and Jackie, the first Hopewell Millionaires couple. Thank you to everyone who picked up a copy. (Double thanks if you left a review!) The doctor and the radiologist/caterer have paved the way for more lottery winner romances.
If you haven't checked out my new sweet series, set in the small prairie town of Hopewell, I hope you give them a chance. The first novel is available everywhere.
It's here, it's here! DOCTOR MILLIONAIRE is live!
I'm thrilled to announce the first Hopewell Millionaires romance is now available everywhere. Doug and Jackie have been part of my life for over a year now, and I'm excited to share them with you. This family-friendly romance has a big city doctor and lottery winner trapped in his hometown, and a country girl who would do almost anything to stay there with him. I hope you enjoy the ride!
Find your copy here. (Don't forget, you can request this book from your library. All my books are available through Overdrive, Hoopla, and other lending services. If you put in a request, the library may be able to buy it, and you can borrow it for free - and do me the tremendous favour of possibly introducing me to other library patrons in your area.)
If you already preordered your copy and enjoyed it, please consider leaving me a review.
Thank you, and happy reading!
Big news, friends!
I'm launching a new sweet romance series. The HOPEWELL MILLIONAIRES is a small-town, sweet romance series set in the modern-day prairies. These will be full-length novels full of laughs and loves.
When twelve friends get together in the their hometown for their ten-year high school reunion, they buy a lottery ticket on a whim. They never expected to win the fifty million dollar jackpot.
The first winner is Doug Little, the hero of DOCTOR MILLIONAIRE.
The only reason Dr. Doug Little returned to his dying hometown was to keep a promise. Two years and he’s gone. The only things getting him through his first couple months are his ten-year reunion and working with his old high-school crush.
Although Jackie Dunn loves her quiet world, her small-town life gets even harder when her part-time hospital job is in peril. If not for her friends’ encouragement, she’d head to the city for better opportunities for herself.
At the reunion, all the returning graduates chip in for a lottery ticket, but nobody expects to win the fifty-million-dollar jackpot. Doug’s share should be more than enough to buy his freedom, but the town doesn’t want to let their new doctor go. Jackie is the only thing that makes Hopewell bearable; the problem is the more time he spends with her, the more he forgets how much he wants to leave. When he finally finds a way to escape, Doug realizes he’ll be doing it alone. Jackie doesn’t have much time to show him the life he accidentally created for himself in Hopewell is far better than anything his millions could buy him anywhere else.
DOCTOR MILLIONAIRE will be released on December 1st, but is already up for preorder. Find the link to your preferred store here.